5000 tourists cut off by storms in Vietnam

Around 5,000 tourists were stranded on Co To Island. Photo by VnExpress

All ships have been prohibited from travelling to or leaving Co To Island due to strong winds.

Around 5,000 tourists were stranded on Co To Island in Vietnam’s northern province of Quang Ninh due to rough sea, the island’s authorities said on Monday.

As strong winds with speeds of up to 49 kilometers (31 miles) per hour continued to ravage the waters around the island, provincial authorities on Sunday issued a ban on all passenger ships traveling between Co To and Van Don in the mainland until the weather improves.

“The port authority is still banning ships so the tourists have no mean to travel back to the mainland.

We have requested that local hotels and restaurants stabilize prices and offer 20-50 percent discount to tourists,” said Tran Nhu Long, chairman of Co To District.

In addition to bad weather, the island is suffering from a power outage after the power cable providing electricity for the island was damaged by lightning last Monday.

Works to repair the cable is expected to take up to 10 days, according to the local power company.

Co To Island in recent years has grown in popularity among foreign travelers thanks to its natural beauty and new “open” tourism policy, which allows foreigners to visit the border island without the need to obtain local authorities’ permission.

Last year, the island attracted a total of 320,000 visitors, including 2,200 foreigners, and generated VND570 billion ($25 million) in tourism revenue, a 42.5 percent jump from the previous year. – VNExpress


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