End to dual pricing in Vietnam
Vietnam has said it will stop its dual pricing policy for foreign and domestic tourists. It’s a common occurrence around Southeast Asia and it annoys foreign visitors who are often asked to pay considerably more than locals for the same access to some attractions.
The original argument was that since locals pay taxes, which help maintain the attractions, they should be allowed a reduced rate. Most travellers can understand and accept this but the difference, in some cases, can be quite substantial. There is also little to explain the policy to foreign tourists which can leave them feeling cheated.
While there are a few institutions that have abandoned the practice it is still common across the region. Vietnam is the first country to stop it altogether. Since January 13 local and foreign visitors to historical sites across the country pay the same price. The institutions are still free to set their own admission fees but it must be the same for everyone. Concessionary prices will be maintained only for children and senior citizens.