Hoi An puts entry fee plan on hold amid public objections

By Dac Thanh   April 8, 2023 | 06:19 pm PT
Hoi An puts entry fee plan on hold amid public objections
Foreign tourists in Hoi An Town, March 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
Hoi An will not collect an entry fee from tourists until it draws up a plan that has wide public support, a top local official said.

Tran Anh, Party secretary of Hoi An, said Saturday that he has ordered the People’s Committee to postpone a plan to collect entry fees from all tourists from May 15 by setting up lanes to differentiate between tourists and locals.

Anh said Hoi An will meet with local residents and businesses to come up with the most efficient and acceptable solution. Once it reaches a consensus, the local government will host a press conference to announce the plan.

He said the town will try to make sure it can collect money from tourists for conservation without disturbing them, adding that it is looking at similar models at other tourist places in Vietnam and overseas.

"We will not collect fees from May 15 as we will not be able to come up with a plan by then," Anh said.

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been collecting VND120,000 ($5) from foreign tourists and VND80,000 from domestic ones, only when they visit certain special places inside the town and are accompanied by a guide. Tourists who are not accompanied by a tour guide do not have to pay any fee.

Hoi An on Monday announced plans to impose such fees on all tourists to raise a stable revenue for conservation, but it received objections from both tourists and local businesses.

Some people said the town could use money from taxes it collects from local businesses, while others said the fees would be too much if they were applied per trip, which will discourage tourists from touring the town several times a day as many are doing now.

Some readers of VnExpress International suggested the fee be added to a tourist’s hotel charge, which will minimize the tourists' discomfort and save the town from having to distinguish between tourists and people who are in town for other purposes.

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