What's the buzz
Updated: 2013-04-15 08:01
The Ancient Town of Fenghuang in Hunan started charging an entrance fee of 148 yuan ($23.68) on April 10, triggering walkouts among some shopkeepers and ferry operators who protested the charge would reduce the number of visitors. Do you support Fenghuang charging tourists? China Daily's mobile phone news readers share their views:
The entrance fee will frighten away some tourists and thus have an impact on local shops in the short run, yet it may be an effective measure to protect the ancient city in the long run. In my opinion, the measure would be more tourist-oriented if the fee was only charged during the peak season to control the number of tourists.
A READER, Guangzhou, Guangdong province
There are many Chinese who cannot afford 148 yuan to visit an ancient town and most of them are students and low-income workers. The entrance fee inevitably closes the door on them and deprives them of a chance to know more about the culture in Fenghuang. Besides, the decline in the number of tourists would also have a negative effect on local shops reliant on tourism. Therefore, I don't think it is a good idea to collect an entrance fee.
DENGDAI, Nanjing, Jiangsu province
I don't agree with such a proposal. The rise in ticket prices for tourist sites has become a unique feature of tourism with Chinese characteristics at present. The development of China's tourism should not be based on increasing ticket prices, but on developing and protecting scenic features to upgrade their overall quality. For most citizens, the high ticket prices spoil their holidays.
A READER, Chengdu, Sichuan province
Although the fee will affect the interests of shopkeepers and ferry owners in the short run, yet in the long term it will help protect the part of our cultural heritage and enable the town to provide better services for the tourists. The introduction of reforms inevitably results in voices of opposition, therefore, policymakers need to figure out better implementation and management.
YUMOTIANYA, Shiyan, Hubei province
I think Fenghuang should collect an entrance fee from tourists, as the money can be used to better maintain and manage facilities in the ancient town, which is conducive to its long-term development. But when charging such fees, two things should be noted: The ticket price should be reasonable, as over-priced tickets will only drive away tourists, and the fees should be strictly used to improve the management and maintenance of the ancient town, instead of being profits for anyone.
XIAOXIAMI, Fuzhou, Fujian province
I am against such an entrance fee. If the ancient city is only open to tourists for a fee, it will only become a scenic spot with a combination of old and newly constructed buildings and lose the cultural connotations that are most attractive to people. Introducing an entrance fee means these are very likely to disappear, and Fenghuang will become a mere theme park.
(China Daily 04/15/2013 page9)