A warning to scenic spots

Updated: 2015-10-12 07:43

(China Daily)

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A warning to scenic spots

Chinese tourists hold their shoppings in Shinjuku shopping district during the China National Day Golden Week holiday on October 5, 2015, Tokyo, Japan. [Photo/IC]

The cancellation of the 5A-rated accreditation for Shanhaiguan Pass, a scenic spot in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province, while indicating the authorities' resolve to promote standardized management of tourist attractions, also serves as an explicit warning that such a qualification is not a once-and-for-all honor.

The National Tourism Administration made such a decision after an inspection team found that the Shanhaiguan Pass scenic spot has a series of problems including price frauds, bad sanitation, poor facility maintenance and degraded services as a result of understaffing.

This is the first time that a 5A-rating scenic spot has been deprived of such a title since the appraisal standards were adopted for the grading of tourist attractions nationwide in 1999.

Another six popular 5A tourist attractions, including the well-known Lijiang ancient town, in Yunnan province, have also been given a warning and urged to rectify their failings.

To acquire the top honor, which helps attract tourists, it is common for scenic sites to focus on the building of hardware facilities, but then ignore the necessary after-appraisal upkeep of their facilities, management and services. This is why the authorities often receive complaints from tourists about poor services and malpractices from 5A-rated scenic attractions.

The removal of the top rating for Shanhaiguan Pass scenic spot should sound an alarm bell to its counterparts that continuous attention to ensure good-quality facilities and services is essential if they are to keep the coveted honor.

Creating a good tourist environment is indispensable at a time when an increasing number of people are choosing travel as part of their lifestyle and when the country is making unremitting efforts to build a consumption-led economy.