Vietnam's tourist province to ban floating restaurants on safety grounds

By Xuan Ngoc   October 12, 2016 | 07:57 pm PT
Vietnam's tourist province to ban floating restaurants on safety grounds
People rush to rescue children onboard the collapsed floating restaurant in Vinh Hy Bay, Ninh Thuan, in July 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Chau Tran
Officials in Khanh Hoa say such restaurants, usually converted from aquaculture cages, are not safe for tourists.

Authorities in Khanh Hoa, most famous for the resort town of Nha Trang, will soon ban all floating restaurants after a tragic incident in another province more than two months ago.

“The provincial government will issue a directive to ban this floating restaurant model,” Tran Son Hai, vice chairman of Khanh Hoa People’s Committee told a meeting on Wednesday. He confirmed that the ban is for safety reasons.

There are about 50 floating restaurants in the waters of Nha Trang, Cam Ranh and Ninh Hoa, said Nguyen Van Dan, deputy director of Khanh Hoa’s Department of Transport.

Officials said the restaurants, which have been converted from aquaculture cages to serve tourists, are not safe enough. The businesses have not been properly registered or checked regularly for safety by the authorities.

“It is risky to keep allowing these floating restaurants to operate,” Dan said, adding that the owners of the restaurants should be persuaded to switch to other businesses or build new floating restaurants that can meet safety standards.

A floating restaurant in Vinh Hy Bay in Ninh Thuan Province, around 100 kilometers south of Nha Trang, suddenly collapsed on July 23. The incident knocked 300 tourists into the sea and killed two. Local media reportedly that the restaurant was constructed on a 200-square-meter platform on top of floating oil drums.

Both Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan are popular destinations in central Vietnam for local and foreign tourists.

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