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Park entrance fees too high
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-06 09:00

Tourist attractions are public property, so their entrance fees should reflect their public status, says an article in the Workers' Daily. An excerpt follows:

According to recent reports, many of the country's well-known tourist attractions have raised, or are planning to raise, their entrance fees.

Statistics indicate that the average price of a ticket to a tourist attraction is around 100 yuan (US$12.5), 1 per cent of the per capita annual gross domestic product. This level is at least 10 times that in many other countries.

When it costs so much to enter famous tourist sites, it is no wonder people would prefer to stay at home than go and enjoy China's natural or cultural heritage.

Fantastic natural landscapes were forged by nature and our cultural heritage was created by our ancestors. Therefore, they are, without doubt, public property.

The public deserve the right to enjoy them. But the numerous price hikes are far from the wishes of the public.

Currently, tourist attractions are managed by local governments or contracted companies.

Some managers held public hearings before the price hikes, but went ahead with the rises without listening to the opinions of the public.

Something to ask these managers is whether or not tourist attractions belong to the public.

Although none would admit it openly, most do not believe the attractions are public property, but merely a place for them to generate money. So, they raise entrance fees time and time again.

The managers of public attractions should not be making a profit from public property, but run them as public resources and try to make money from the service facilities.

Still, it is unreasonable and unrealistic to object to the exploitation of the tourism market. Local governments should regulate instead of indulge the managers' pursuit of profit from public resources.

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