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Ticket fares of scenic spots should be lowered

In an effort to battle lagging numbers of visitors to the Chinese capital, the Beijing Tourism Administration has decided to give out 30,000 free tickets to tourist attractions in hopes of attracting more domestic travellers during the Spring Festival holiday.


20,000 free passes will be given away for top attractions like the Palace Museum and Summer Palace, in addition to 10,000 for the Water Cube and Bird's Nest. At the same time, more than one hundred tourist attractions in Beijing will cut their ticket fares by 20-40%.


The Beijing Youth Daily argues that these discounts should remain a long-term policy, rather than a short-term solution to boost consumption.


Citizens should be able to appreciate Chinese traditional culture without paying a hefty price, the paper argues. Tourist attractions should gradually lower ticket fares with the financial assistance of the government.


Citing examples of scenic tourist attractions abroad, the articles notes that many cultural attractions are free to tourists. If tickets aren't free, they are subsidized and remain cheap relative to the local economy.


The article notes most tourist attractions in China hold 'cultural relics' belonging to the Chinese people. Since local governments are merely the administrators of these places, the paper says ticket fares should be lowered to allow the public learn more about their traditional culture.


(CRI January 14, 2009)