Hoi An to charge tourists to fund conservation of Ancient Town
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, Apr 5 (EFE).- The Vietnamese city of Hoi An will start charging an entrance fee to tourists planning on visiting its historic center.
Foreign visitors will be charged 120,000 dongs ($5.12) and Vietnamese tourists will have to pay 80,000 dongs.
The funds will be used to improve infrastructure, restore monuments and to organize events, authorities said.
Some monuments and historical sites of the coastal city, which is located in the province of Quang Nam, already charge an entrance fee to tourists.
Hoi An, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, is well known for its picturesque streets, temples, traditional Vietnamese architecture and boat tours.
The measure has sparked reactions against and in favor among Vietnamese residents and foreigners.
Increasing prices and shifting from mass tourism to attracting visitors with higher purchasing power is an ambition many Southeast Asian tourist hotspots share.
Thailand has moved to charge visitors arriving by plane a tourist tax of 300 baht ($8.86) from June, while those arriving by land or sea will pay 150 baht.
In Indonesia, authorities announced a hike in the fee to access the island of Komodo from 150,000 Indonesian rupiahs ($10) to 3.75 million rupiahs back in August last year, but the government U-turned after a barrage of criticism. EFE