Circular of National Development and Reform Commission on Further Standardizing the Administration over Price of Entrance Tickets to Sightseeing Spots
Development and Reform Commissions and Price Bureaus of Provinces, Autonomous Regions and Municipalities:
In recent years, price supervision authorities at all levels have done a lot of work to regulate the price control of entrance tickets for sight-seeing spots (hereafter refer to "entrance ticket price"),and have achieved some effect. Yet in the administration of entrance ticket price, problems still exist, e.g., the understanding for this issue is not unified; principles are not clear; some price ratios are not balanced; price level is higher and administration order is not standardized. Particularly in recent years, some regions tried to compare with each other to raise prices and this has evoke strong social repercussions. To further regulate the administration of entrance ticket prices of sightseeing spots, herewith is the circular on relevant issues:
I. To unify the understanding and further regulate the administration of entrance ticket prices. A better price control is of great significance to fulfill the important ideology of the "Three Represents", to protect the legal rights and interest of consumers, to regulate the price-making of sightseeing spots, to maintain a normal price order, to protect the tourism resources and promote a healthy development of tourism. Price supervision authorities at all levels should improve their understanding for the task of price control and fulfill the task in a practical way. To strengthen the price administration it is important to stick to the principles of benefiting both the increase of social and environmental effect and compensating the service cost and resources value, and to maintain basically stable price at a reasonable level.
II. To regulate order and strictly verify entrance ticket prices. Local authorities should start in the near future a serious price check over entrance ticket prices (including prices for cable cart, cableway and tourist car inside the scenic areas) which have been made under the government-fixed pricing or government guidance pricing, and to standardize the price order so as to prevent the price from increasing too quickly. Extreme high prices of entrance tickets must be definitely cut down, and unreasonable price ratios have to be readjusted. It has to be done to firmly stop the conduct of price-making by overstepping the authority or self price-making. Prices which are not made or readjusted under regulated authorities or regulated procedures should be corrected. During the price check and verification period, price rise must be strictly restricted. Local authorities should report the price verification situation to the National Development and Reform Commission (Department of Price) before the end of September.
III. To improve the understanding and ensure democratic and scientific public hearing system. For those national key cultural relics protection institutions, state key scenic spots and natural preserves and places that are listed as world natural heritages and cultural heritages, which have high reputation both inside and/or outside China, the price-making and price adjustment have to go through public hearing according to the regulation of public hearings catalogue.Prices of entrance tickets are close to the practical benefit of the people. To establish and complete price hearing system is an important measure of fulfilling the view of scientific development, building a harmonized society, and regulating the policy-making procedure and performance of government. It is an important content of involving all walks of life in the society in price policy-making, and promoting the democratic and scientific policy-making. Local authorities should improve their understanding on the ticket pricing public hearing system, complete measures, and bring the public hearing system into full play.Opinions collected through the public hearings should be taken as an important basis for the government's price policy-making and to prevent public hearing system from just becoming a mere formality.
IV. To complete system and determine a rational structure of representatives to the public hearing. Public hearing on entrance ticket prices should be held in public. A rational composition of participants to the hearing should be based on the formation of visitors to the sight-seeing spots. The participants to the public hearing should in general include representatives of the customers, the travel agents and sight-seeing spots as well as relevant government representatives and experts. Among them, representatives of customers should normally be at least 1/3 of the total number of participants. For sight-seeing spots whose visitors are mainly from outside the area where the spot locates, public hearing on pricing should guarantee the participants of certain ratio of customers from outside. The procedure to select participants to the public hearing should be standardized and the extensiveness and representativeness of the participants should be guaranteed.Before any public hearing is held, the date and time, venue and major topics for discussion should be announced to the public through the media, internet and other channels and the press should be invited to the hearing.
V. To strengthen supervision and set up publishing system of entrance ticket pricing information. Each sightseeing spot should send annually a report on the income from entrance tickets and the expenditure of the previous year to the government pricing department of the jurisdiction and the authority that has the price-making power. The government pricing authority should then make regular analysis on the income and expenditure and take the data as the basis for price administration. A system of regular publishing information on entrance ticket prices should be established, and local authorities should publish regularly information on the prices of entrance ticket for all sightseeing spots, number of visitors etc., and try to improve transparency and receive supervision of the society.
VI. To make stronger efforts in expanding the coverage of price reduction and exemption policy. Sightseeing spots which practise government-made price or government-guided price system should give discount to senior citizens, armymen on active service, non grown-ups and students and free entrance to disabled and children. Spots which are listed as patriotism education bases should be free for collective visits by college, middle school and primary school students. If conditions permit, relax parks for the public benefit in urban areas should gradually be opened to the public for free.
VII. To readjust at proper time and determine suitable price readjust time limit and implementing date. Readjustment to the government-made or government guided entrance ticket prices should be notified to the public two months in advance in case of important public holidays (Spring Festival, Labour Day and National Day). The frequency for price rise of the same entrance ticket should be in principle no less than three years.The overall factors such as nature of public service and the ability of the public to bear the adjustment should be taken into consideration in order to decide the reasonable margin for price readjustment.
VIII. To strengthen guidance and ensure the properness and stabilization of entrance ticket price. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will publicize regularly entrance fees of major sightseeing spots and relevant information, and will also organize information exchanges at proper time to further study issues related to standardization of price administration. Meanwhile, the NDRC will circulate notice on unreasonable price-rises which have brought bad effect to the society. The NDRC will also advise a correction if in some areas the price adjustments are frequent, or prices are too high and have caused strong complain of the society, to stop temporarily the price adjustments in those areas upon the approval of the State Council. Local authorities should also strengthen the efforts on entrance price control and take effective measures suited to the local conditions in order to prevent the entrance fees from increasing too fast.
Local authorities should make further detailed measures on entrance ticket price administration according to the above-mentioned requirements, and strengthen the price administration in a practical way to maintain the basic stabilization of entrance ticket prices.
National Development and Reform Commission
of the Peoples'Republic of China
(All information published in this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only.)