Over-protection of tourist sites by locals does them no favors
said it has finished inspecting all the country’s tourist sites, and 367 of them received penalties because they failed to meet the necessary standards. It has even removed 107 of them from the official rating system. Beijing News comments:
The China National Tourism Administration is obviously determined to regulate the domestic tourism industry because removal from the official rating system is a very harsh punishment for tourist sites. To quote some local tourism experts, the move will result in an earthquake in the tourism industry.
However, the punishments handed out to so many tourist sites show the problem with the tourism industry had already become quite serious, yet there were no efforts to rectify the situation until the administration launched its inspection. Where were the local tourism authorities that are supposed to supervise local tourist sites?
Since May 2014, provincial-level tourism administrations have been authorized to rate local tourist sites, and they have been rather active in doing so. However, the inspection shows they exercised this power while failing in their responsibility to supervise them.
Worse, when tourists have complained to local tourism authorities about being cheated by tourist sites,
the local tourism authorities tend to bend justice in favor of local tourist sites.
There are many reasons behind such ridiculous incidents, but one of the most important is so-called local interests. If the local tourism authorities punish local tourist sites it will “hurt the local image” and stop people from visiting these tourist sites, thus shrinking the income of the local tourism industry.
But the way they defend “local interests” is rather illusive, because their over-protection of local tourist sites will ruin their credit among tourists, who will in turn vote with their feet and avoid choosing these tourist sites again. Over-protection from the local tourism authorities is fatal to tourist sites.
That’s why the campaign of the China National Tourism Administration was necessary. By punishing the tourist sites that fail to meet the required standards, it has not only regulated the behavior of tourist sites nationwide, but also improved the rule of law in the industry, which is necessary for its long-term development and prosperity.