Opinion / Opinion Line

Price rises for scenic spots need justifying

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-24 08:22

Price rises for scenic spots need justifying

A dragon boat competition is held to celebrate the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival in Jingxian County, East China's Anhui province, June 19, 2015. Dragon Boat Festival will fall on June 20. [Photo by Liu Junxi/Xinhua]

During this year's Dragon Boat Festival many scenic spots raised their entry prices. The tourism and pricing authorities introduced regulations in 2007 that clearly stipulate the procedures for raising the admission prices for tourist attractions and the amounts they can be increased by. These rules appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Moreover, the public is seldom told how the ticket revenue is used. Comments:

Many of these scenic spots and places of historical interest are part of the country's natural and cultural heritage. But managed by local governments, they have become quasi-public products. The arbitrary hikes in ticket prices are because there is no complete, definite and functional pricing law regulating local authorities' ticket revenues.

Song Rui, research of tourism of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, June 23

In a loosely supervised environment, local governments have every reason to regard the revenues from entry fees for tourist attractions as a moneymaking machine as long as they have the right to set prices. The pricing and tourism authorities must make it compulsory for local governments to disclose how the revenue is spent. It is unfair that tourists should pay for any increase in operating costs that result from inefficient and bureaucratic operations of an attraction's management company.

Fujian Daily, June 23

The tourism authority criticized some scenic spots for arbitrary ticket price rises last month, which means criticism does not work at all in restricting the greedy hands. There should be an accountability system so local officials breaking the pricing administration rules are called to account.

Beijing News, June 23

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