China will witness a new round of ticket price hikes in more than twenty renowned scenic spots this year, as the country's second three-year ban on ticket price adjustments expire, Economic Information Daily reported on Wednesday.
The National Development and Reform Commission in 2007 stipulated that tourism fares should not be altered within a three year period. The last round of price adjustments occurred in 2008.
The ticket prices of these scenic spots will be lifted by between 20 to 60 percent, according to published ticket information. Some scenic spots in North China's Hebei province and East China's Jiangxi and Shangdong provinces will see a 20 percent price growth starting from April.
Meanwhile, public parks in many cities are also planning to raise ticket prices. Wuhan botanic garden in Central China's Hubei province and Shijiazhuang Zoo in Hebei, to name a few, are set to add ten yuan for every ticket. The current prices for the two parks are 30 yuan and 40 yuan respectively.
A media survey shows ticket prices of nearly half of China's 130 5A-class scenic spots exceed 100 yuan per head, and 10 percent of them charge more than 200 yuan per ticket.
An industry insider told Economic Information Daily that soaring maintenance costs were the main reason for the ticket price increases.
Ding Zaixian, vice-president of the Shandong Tourism Trade Association, worried that hard price hikes would deter tourists in the longer run if services do not also improve.
Tourists have been complaining that the ballooned prices are beyond what they can afford and the services cannot catch up with the price level.