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Hearing Held for Dunhuang Grottoes Price Hike
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A hearing has been held Saturday concerning a new price hike on ticket prices to Mogao Grottoes, the most famous scenic spot in Dunhuang, northwest China's Gansu Province, Lanzhou Morning Post reports.


The current price of a ticket to Mogao Grottoes is 100 yuan (US$12.5 US dollars). After the price hike, it will rise to 150 yuan (US$18.8). While a ticket will cost 20% more from Octobter 1 to 7 each year, the peak season for local tourism, it will cost 40 percent less during the low season which spans from November 1 to March 31.


According to the Dunhuang Research Institution which proposed the price increase, the grottoes are overburdened by a large number of visitors. They note that during the peak tourism season from July to September and the following National Day "golden week" each year, the daily number of tourists at Mogao Grottos averages over 3,000.


The temperature and moisture increase in the caves as a result of excessive visitors is harmful to the cultural relics' preservation. The price hike is intended to curb the number of tourists during the peak season while encouraging low-season visits to reduce damage to the treasures.


Fifteen experts, tourism authorities, representatives to tourism-related enterprises and tourists themselves attended the hearing. After listening to a report by Dunhuang Research Institution and inspecting the caves and renovation projects, they agreed that the price hike would benefit the preservation of the precious cultural relics at Mogao Grottoes.


( October 26, 2006)


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