Posted Monday, Oct. 4, 2010, at 4:08 PM
As tourists in the People's Republic of China celebrate a whopping 16-day holiday break—created by the lunar Mid-Autumn Festival landing back to back with National Day—an opinion piece in the state-run China Daily argues that t
he mainland needs to take a lesson from Taiwan
how to manage public attractions.
Author Zhou Yun, a professor at the South China University of Technology, praises Taiwan's collective-minded policy of offering low-priced or free admission to its natural and historic tourism sites—in contrast to the selfish, profiteering site operators on the Communist mainland. Zhou even cites a Taiwanese official's criticism of the People's Republic's admission fees:
It was not long ago that Taiwan Kuomintang vice president Chiang Hsiao-Yan singled out the tourist attractions of Huangshan Mountain, Zhangjiajie and Jiuzhaigou, saying that all Chinese people should be able to share in such areas of natural scenery. As a result, he said the idea of paying 300 yuan to enter one of these places was "incomprehensible".
In comparison, tourism hot spots in Taiwan are relatively cheap and some, like Sun-Moon Lake, are free to enter. Local governments take charge of the maintenance and operation of these places rather than passing control to private firms, a process normally pursued on the mainland.