Quang Binh Province will auction the rights to operate tours to caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park after Oxalis Company ends the contract.
Oxalis Company asked to terminate their co-operation with Quang Binh Province authorities and the management board of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park starting from this May to avoid losses.
"After news that Oxalis wants to stop operating the tours to Hang Va caves spread, many companies have expressed desire to take over. We'll tender for the rights to open the tours," said Le Thanh Tinh, head of the management board of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
The park's management board is creating a bidding plan to submit to the provincial authorities.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province
In last October, Quang Binh Province People's Council issued new regulations that raised the environmental and management fees the company must pay to the authorities and the park's management board.
According to the new regulations, Oxalis must pay VND1.8m (USD80) for each VND8m tour per tourist instead of the previous VND1.2m. While the final environmental fee is still being negotiated, Oxalis decided to end the contract as they would incur losses. Oxalis operated the tours to Hang Va caves since 2015 and received 700 to 800 visitors a year.
Tinh went on to say that there was a lack of competition in tour operation so the fees that firms paid to the government didn't reflect the market.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang Park is famous for the hundreds of cave systems that are suitable for various types of tours. As sea tourism is facing difficulties from mass fish deaths disaster, Quang Binh now has to depend on cave tourism.