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Comment: Scenic spots' wrong move
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The price of a ticket to a scenic spot makes up only a small portion of prices charged by the tourism industry. It also encompasses tours, food, hotel, transportation, shopping as well as entertainment, says an article in Dahe News. The following is an excerpt:


In recent years, it has become common practice for scenic spots to raise their ticket prices during the holiday week of May Day or National Day. The price hikes at scenic spots in Qinghai were very steep.


Qinghai boasts rich tourism resources. After the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway in July, some scenic sites in Qinghai started to raise prices, something that has never happened before.


Prices at the Qinghai Lake 151 Scenic Site rose from 50 yuan ($6.6) to 110 yuan; at Bird Island from 48 yuan to 138 yuan, to name just a few. During this year's Golden Week National Day, many travel agencies in Qinghai Province made a temporary change to their tourist itineraries to circumvent the Qinghai Lake 151 Scenic Site.


The market said no to this site and also sounded a warning to those who decided on the ticket prices arbitrarily. The tapping of tourism resources should not pursue immediate interests only.


Unlike the price hikes in Qinghai, scenic spots around the West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, lowered their prices, some even gave free entrance. These measures attracted millions of tourists during the recent holiday.


West Lake's profits from ticket have been declining, but it is also achieving good results in other aspects. The lake has suffered a loss of 25.3 million yuan every year since 2002 due to its low ticket prices or free entry to visitors.


But the lake has spurred the development of a chain of tourist-related industries, and according to latest statistics, these industries have brought in more than 100 million yuan.


(China Daily October 10, 2007)


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