A Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference municipal committee member suggested that Chengdu should reduce ticket prices to local tourist attraction last month.
From the Chengdu Commercial Daily:
"I'm nearly 50 years old and a Chengdu resident and since taking my son to see Dufu's Thatched Cottage and Wuhou Temple in 1995, I've never been back. Admission to these attractions are too expensive for locals," a CPPCC member told the Chengdu Tourism Board.
Since the proclamation it's become a topic of hot debate on the Internet, with some saying that "ticket economics" keeps locals from visiting points of interest. Others chime in that any losses in profit resulting from lowering the fares will certainly be recouped by increasing numbers of visitors to the sites.
"This guy told me that he's been living in Chengdu dozens of years, but when visitors come and ask whether Jinsha Museum or Wuhou Temple are worth visiting, he doesn't know what to say!" exclaimed one of the many voices in online debates.
"I strongly support this! I've been a Chengdu resident for over 30 years!" said another who added that she had visited a few of the sites only once, when she was a child, and can no longer remember them.
"If we, as Chengdunese, haven't even been to Wuhou Temple, Dufu's Cottage, Jinsha Museum, and so forth, how can we pass on Chengdu's traditions?"
Chengdu has 27 "A-rated" tourism sites, and of those, 15 are free to visit. These include Sansheng Xiang, Luodai Old Town, Huanglong, Floraland, Ping Le Old Town, Hibiscus (Furong) Old Town, Agriculture Village, Jiezi Old Town, Lin Qiong Old Town, Peach Blossom Village, Cuihuli Village, Huilong Valley, Baita (White Pagoda) Lake, Hongshacun Flower Town, and Kuanzhai Xiangzi. Discounted fares apply to the other 12 for military personnel, senior citizens, and students.
Chengdu Government Vice Secretary and Bureau Chief of the Chengdu Tourism Board Deng Gongli said that entrance fees make up only 3 percent of total revenues generated in by tourism. He added that the gold and silver Panda Cards that were issued last year were "an exceptional measure," implemented as a means of thanking locals and visitors alike for their support during the Sichuan earthquake. "Currently, what we're discussing the most are the gold cards for foreigners in order to boost international travel to Chengdu, which will greatly help move Chengdu toward becoming an international city," he said.
But after hearing the complaints of city residents, the Chengdu Tourism Bureau is considering implementing an annual pass available to those with valid Chengdu identification cards.
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