Many tourists have canceled their travel plans to UNESCO-recognized Ha Long Bay due to massive power cuts, leaving hotels desperate for business.
Nguyen Thanh Dan from HCMC booked a five-star hotel room in Ha Long City for two weeks starting Sunday, but on the first night of her stay the power went out immediately.
It was an extremely hot night, and her baby could not stand the heat, so she had to cancel her room and rent another at a nearby three-star hotel.
“I had not received any announcements in advance about power outages. Seventy rooms at my hotel were filled on Sunday,” said a representative from Green Suites Hotel.
Because of the power cuts, guests canceled their rooms. In addition to a refund of VND600,000 (US$25.53) per room, the hotel also lost paying additional compensation to guests.
By Monday morning, the hotel had rented a large generator to prevent unexpected power outages.
Many parts of Ha Long, a top tourist attraction in the northern region, have been suffering sudden power cuts over the past several days, affecting tourism activities as it’s now the peak summer travel season.
Many hotels, motels and restaurants have had to buy or rent emergency generators and bear additional costs.
“The rent for a generator costs about VND25 to 30 million a month. Every day we have to pay a few million dong in these kinds of operating costs,” said a representative from Bao Han Hotel at the Bai Chay tourist area.
Dong, the owner of two hotels with 50 rooms each in Ha Long, said he had to refund his guests three times a month due to massive power cuts.
On June 4 alone, 30 room bookings at his hotels were canceled due to unexpected power outages.
A representative of a three-star hotel in Ha Long with 56 rooms, said it costs about VND700,000-800,000 an hour to run the generator.
In the past week, the hotel has spent tens of millions of dong due to recent blackouts totaling 40-50 hours.
On June 5, the hotel lost power from morning to night.
“If the power outages continue, our business will be hit hard,” the representative said.
Le Thi Nhung, deputy CEO of Beverly Hills Ha Long, said that 80% of guests booking rooms this week called her to ask about power outages.
Many guests have canceled their rooms due to fears of sudden power cuts.
Nhung said his resort has eight villas for rent, but only five generators.
According to the state utility Vietnam Electricity, or EVN, the El Nino phenomenon, which results in less rains and more heat waves, will cause challenges this summer.
Water levels in northern hydropower plants are currently lower than normal. In fact, 18 large dams were less than 20% full on April 24.
EVN predicted in April that the northern region could see a power shortage of 1,600-4,900 megawatts between May and July.
According to Quang Ninh Electricity, in recent days, the northern region has been short more than 2,000 MW of electricity.