Highlands province to tax overnight visitors to karst plateau

By Hoang Phong    November 7, 2023 | 05:24 pm PT
Highlands province to tax overnight visitors to karst plateau
A winding road around peaks in Dong Van Karst Plateau, Ha Giang Province. Photo by Xuan Phuong
Authorities in the northern province of Ha Giang near the China border have decided to impose a fee for visitors staying overnight on the Dong Van karst plateau.

Visitors at the UNESCO global geopark spread over the four districts of Dong Van, Yen Minh, Meo Vac, and Quan Ba will pay VND30,000 (US$1.22) a night for adults and VND15,000 for children, according to the province portal.

Hoang Xuan Don, head of the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark management, told local media that the fees would be collected starting in 2024.

The province expects to receive 1.8 million visitors and collect around VND48 billion from them next year.

The money will be used to improve infrastructure and fund conservation efforts.

The 2,356-square-kilometer geopark is surrounded by towering limestone formations, jagged cliffs and captivating karst peaks.

It is home to popular tourist destinations such as Lung Cu Flag Tower, Dong Van town and the Ma Pi Leng Pass.

Ha Giang has long been popular with backpackers seeking to brave the elements and winding roads to conquer the 350-kilometer-long loop that takes three to five days depending on the weather.

The New York Times newspaper named Ha Giang one of the 52 best places to visit this year.

Many popular tourist attractions around the world have begun to consider the imposition of tourist taxes.

The Indonesian resort haven of Bali has announced it will collect 150,000 rupiah (US$10) from everyone entering the "Island of Gods" from next year to preserve its culture.

Spain's Valencia has announced it will introduce a tourist tax for travelers staying in all types of accommodation as has Italy's Venice.

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