Huangshan Mountain, a UNESCO world heritage site in eastern China's Anhui province. (Photo: sipaphoto.com)
Authorities at many tourism spots are extending their free-entry policy to citizens other than medical workers to boost the industry as the epidemic comes under control.
Domestic tourism was suspended over the past two months to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. The local authorities now want to kick-start the tourism industry and a ticket-free policy is one way to do that.
Therefore, Huangshan city in Anhui province announced it was making entry to the Huangshan free for all Anhui residents from April 1 to 14. Similarly, the Sichuan Provincial Tourism Association announced a ticket-free policy at 112 scenic spots in the province from April 1 to 30.
The Xiamen local government announced a ticket-free policy on all public transport vehicles during weekends from April 7 to June 30; also all tourists could visit all State-owned A level scenic spots in Xiamen for free during the period.
For years, residents have been critical of the so-called ticket economy, as entry tickets to scenic spots are priced "unreasonably" high. And despite charging a heavy fee, the services are often found wanting, seriously undermining tourist satisfaction and making them opt for overseas destinations.
Authorities at scenic spots should seriously consider adjusting their ticket pricing policy and improving services to boost the tourism industry in a win-win way.
Although the epidemic has been largely controlled, there are fresh challenges from imported cases and asymptomatic infections.