China / Society

Ancient Chinese city Dali to charge visitors entry fee

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-31 12:57

Ancient Chinese city Dali to charge visitors entry fee

The Erhai scenic spot in the ancient city of Dali, Southwest China's Yunnan province, Jan 5, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

KUNMING - Visitors to the ancient city of Dali in Southwest China's Yunnan province will be charged an entrance fee starting from Sept 1 this year in order to cover maintenance costs, a government press conference announced on Saturday.

The ancient city will charge 30 yuan ($4.9) for every tourist visiting the site with travel agents and will collect one percent of business income generated by shops and stalls in the city, according to an announcement from the ancient city protection administration bureau.

Individual travellers are free of charge as long as they don't enter several particular scenic spots of the city.

"The government investment is far from enough to cover the protection costs of the ancient city," said Yang Junbiao, the deputy head of the Dali Ancient City Protection Administration Bureau.

Charging the maintenance fee will greatly ease the capital shortage and is an important measure to protect the ancient city, said Yang.

The 2.25-square-kilometer ancient city has a history of over 1,200 years and received over 5 million tourists in 2014.

"The use of the maintenance fee will be open to the public frequently and we are willing to accept public supervision," said Yang.

The money will be spent on city planning, public service infrastructure, fire-fighting equipment and ancient building renovation, he said.

Yang said charging the maintenance fee might dampen the tourism revenues in a short term but will have long-term economic and social benefits.

Dali is the ancient capital of Nanzhao, which flourished in the area during the 8th and 9th centuries and the Kingdom of Dali, which reigned from 937 to 1253. It is one of the most popular tourist destination in Yunnan, known for its natural scenery and historical and cultural heritage.

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