Over-pro­tec­tion of tourist sites by lo­cals does them no fa­vors

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - THE CHINA NA­TIONAL TOURISM AD­MIN­IS­TRA­TION

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.

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