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While it is still two months from this year’s international fireworks contest in the central city of Da Nang , many local hotels have raised room prices by 3-4 times the usual rates.
Long, an employee of the 62-room Bien Vang hotel on Pham Van Dong Street, said a double deluxe room for a 10-person group is now available for VND2.2 million (US$105) a night, while it usually only costs VND480,000.
“Prices of other hotels located far away from the fireworks display spot are already as high as VND1.8 million,” said Long.
Similarly, other hotels near the festival location, whose usual room prices hover around VND500,000, now charge tourists VND1.8 million, and VND2.2 million for standard and deluxe rooms.
“Such prices are particular for this occasion every year,” said Tien of Golden Sea hotel.
According to the price lists at the reception tables of these hotels, room prices during the festival are only 30 percent higher than usual rates, which is in accordance with the regulation stipulated by the municipal Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
However, most of the receptionists said the lists are of no use.
When coming for booking, customers will make contact with the hotels’ sales executives for the exact prices, they said.
An official from the Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism said it is stipulated that hotels not hike prices by more than 30 percent during the festival.
Huynh Nhon Minh, deputy head of the department, said those hotels that rip off tourists will receive strict sanctions, and even lose their licenses.
However, it is not easy to crackdown on the hotels, since they all have the prices listed as per law.
Customers should have proof of being overcharged in order for authorities to impose penalties, he said.
To date, 202 out of 279 hotels in the city have submitted their price lists and guaranteed not to rip off tourists during the firework festival. The municipal government also announced the hotline 0511.3812340 to receive reports on overcharging hotels.
Titled “Sac mau Da Nang” (The Color of Da Nang), the annual international firework display contest and festival this year will take place in two nights from April 29 at the Han River.
The event will see the participation of 5 teams including David Whysall International Fireworks from Canada, Dragon Dancing Fireworks from China, Jacques Couturier Organization from France, Parente Fireworks from Italy and the Da Nang Team from the host country, Vietnam.