Holiday time, and thoughts turn to visiting places of interest and scenic areas to enjoy, at leisure, nature’s bounty. But rising admission prices may cast a shadow over such plans. During the Tomb Sweeping holiday in April, the ancient town of Taierzhuang in Zaozhuang, Shandong province, quietly raised holiday ticket prices, for tourists, from 100 yuan ($15.90) to 160 yuan. Taierzhuang is not alone.
From May 8, ticket prices for the Jinggangshan Scenic Area in the southwest of Jiangxi province will go up from 226 yuan per person to 260 yuan.
According to a report in the Beijing News, nearly half of the 130 top-level scenic areas nationally excluding those in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have ticket prices which are now in excess of 100 yuan. About 90 percent of more than 1,000 Internet users said in an online poll that they think a price below 100 yuan is more acceptable.
Tourism experts said the price hike is reasonable, to a certain extent. Commodity and service costs are rising generally. However, government investment in tourist sites is lagging, and this puts the onus on operators to boost income. But the system is not uniform and prices vary.