In the first few months of 2016, the cave welcomed 95 visitors from the US, 33 from Vietnam and 23 from Australia.
According to statistics in 2015, the total number of tourists to Son Doong Cave was 500, in which domestic tourists accounted for 67 travelers.
Son Doong Cave, in the UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, is more than 200m wide, 150m high, and approximately 9km long. It is believed to have been formed 2-5 million years ago and was discovered by a local resident in 1991.
In 2009, scientists from the British Cave Research Association prepared the cave for limited public access after surveying the area.
Within the cave – large enough to fit a 40-storey skyscraper inside – lays a jungle and a river. The cave was named the largest cave in the world by the British Cave Research Association.
The American news website Huffingtonpost.com declared the cave an absolute must-see. Son Doong Cave was also listed among the ‘52 Places to Go in 2014’ by The New York Times Travel.
The tour offered by the sole operator Oxalis Adventure Tours since early August, lasts five-day and four-nights at a cost of VND 66 million (roughly US$ 3,000) per person from January to August. A maximum of 500 visitors will be allowed in 2016.
Each tour requires more than 25 porters and cooks, a tour guide, two cave experts and two park rangers.
In the next year, the operator Oxalis Adventure Tours is expected to welcome around 600 visitors.