Authorities in Khánh Hòa and Bình Thuận provinces are taking measures to stop unlicensed tours. –Photo: nld.com.vn
KHÁNH HÒA — The increase in the number of unofficial tours in Khánh Hòa and Bình Thuận provinces has affected tourism safety.
Lê Kim Nhựt, chairman of the Nha Trang Tourism Promotion Forum, said that travel companies in Khánh Hòa Province are offering photo tours, meditation tours at Hòn Bà, Suối Đổ and Ba Hồ, and climbing tours at Cô Tiên and Sạn mountains.
The demand for ecotourism destination is increasing, but the lack of safety measures taken by agencies has led to serious accidents.
Last year, a boat sank, leaving two people dead, and a tour guide died in a motorbike accident on Bình Ba Island in April this year. There have also been a number of drowning deaths at local beaches.
Nguyễn Thị Thu Hằng, deputy director of the province’s Department of Tourism, said that tourism agencies were encouraged to start tours as long as they can provide safe conditions and professional services.
Tour programmes must be licensed by the department. Tourists can report violations to the department at the hotlines 0258.3528.000 and 0947.528.000.
On Phú Quý Island in Bình Thuận Province, many tours are created by homestay owners and island motels.
Visitors to the island often want to visit neighboring islands, so the staff of homestays and motels often organise unlicensed tours.
Ngô Tấn Lực, deputy chairman of the island’s People Committee, said that tourist units on the island are mostly amateurs since the area is a relatively new destination. This year, the island plans to recruit more professional employees.
In addition, Hòn Cau Island in Bình Thuận Province has only two transport ships licensed by the local authority.
Most tourists who want to go to the island often negotiate with local fishermen for transport to the island.
Bình Thuận Province has directed all related units to strengthen management of tourist waterway transport. Local authorities must inspect activities involving the transport of passengers, and not allow fishing vessels and unlicensed boats to carry tourists. — VNS