Cable with about 1000 tourists per year to Swallow

Cable car system in Phong
Nha – Ke Bang National Park, UNESCO Heritage Site, has never been a good idea for
Quang Binh Province to fully exploit economic potential from tourism.

Three years after the first cable car system plan was
rejected by serious concerns raised among the nation and around the world,
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced that he and government agencies
“agree in principle” with the cable car plan to Swallow Cave in Phong Nha – Ke
Bang National Park at the meeting with the authorities of Quang Binh Province
on 25th, August 2017. The system is set to run 5.2 kilometers from a section of
the Ho Chi Minh Highway to Swallow Cave, the third largest cave on earth. Only
five meters away from it is the world’s largest Son Doong Cave.

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Both Swallow and Son Doong Cave are shot to international
fame for their captivating beauty when appearing in several popular newspapers,
magazines and destination ranks in the world. Beyond breathtaking sceneries,
Swallow and Son Doong Cave possess prestigious values in geology, ecosystem
diversity and archeology. Especially, there are unique natural entities that
could only be found in Son Doong but nowhere else in Vietnam. Inside Son Doong
is a tropical jungle with unique vegetation, waterfall, underground river and
weather phenomena like clouds, fog, and even “rain”.  Only in 2013, seven new species of flora and
fauna were discovered in Son Doong, while many species have not been officially
recognized yet. Son Doong and Swallow Cave are the core of kingdom caves in
Quang Binh province. They are so sensitive that even the lights of torch, sweat
or oil from humans could break the structure and destroy entities living
inside.

Up till now, Oxalis Adventure Tours is the sole provider for
world-class adventure tours or camp tours in Quang Binh with about 1000
tourists per year to Swallow Cave and around 600 tourists to Son Doong. It
costs one 330 USD to 3000 USD for a journey and may require health
certifications to attend. Carefully designed by the British Caving Research
Association, these tours assure safety not only for tourists but also for the
caves. This is, though, considered a waste, according to the authorities of Quang
Binh province. Therefore, a cable car system is being planned to boost tourism
from 600 tourists per year to 600 per day. A large number of tourists would
definitely lead to a huge profit for the province. More jobs would be created,
and revenues of local people would increase. Quang Binh now is one of the
poorest provinces in Vietnam with GRDP 1,265.53 USD compared with GDP 2,200 USD
of Vietnamese. It is clear to understand why the authorities are making efforts
to boost economic growth, but are they doing the right way?