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Should foreign tourists be charged more than local residents?

lisalisa Posts: 740 ✭✭✭
It is sometimes argued that tourists from overseas should be charged more than local residents to visit important sits and monuments. I completely disagree with this idea.

The argument in favor of higher prices would be that cultural and historical attractions often depend on state subsidies to keep them going, which means that local resident population already pays money to these sites through the tax system. However, I believe that is to be a shortsighted view. Foreign tourists contribute to the economy of host countries with the money they spend on a wide range of goods and services, such as food, souvenirs, accommodation and travel.

If travellers realized that they would have to pay more to visit the cultural and historical attractions in a particular nation, they would perhaps decide not to go to that country on holiday. Take the UK as an example, the tourism industry and related jobs rely on tourists from overseas coming to the country to see places like Windsor Castle or Sanit Paul's Cathedral. These two sites charge the same prices regardless of nationality,and this helps to promote the nation's cultural heritage. If travellers stopped coming to these areas due to higher prices, there would be a risk of insufficient funding for the maintainenance of these important attractions.

In conclusion, I believe that every effort should be made to attract tourists from overseas, and it would be counterproductive to make them pay more than local residents.

Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,114 mod
    I totally agree with you @lisa. I hate that any time I need to fly internally in Nepal I have to pay four or five times as much as local people. It's a bit deterrent to tourism as the infrastructure is so bad there. Travelling any distance by road is really hard. I'm sure that if it wasn't so expensive to fly as a foreigner, more people would be keen to explore the country more.

  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 711 ✭✭✭
    We are guilty of this too - state-run museums charge foreign tourists more. While some people would say that's ok since they're wealthier, I think that's unjust. I would be surprised if they made more money having made the rates equal.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,114 mod
    I think this is done all over Asia too @Practical_Severard. I think it is very unfair. I remember one time in London there was suggested an idea that local residents should get a discount (I do in Nice) but it was thrown out as unfair. But our Council Tax I think was used to help fund some of these places, so maybe it wasn't so discriminatory after all.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 711 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    > I think this is done all over Asia too @Practical_Severard. I think it is very unfair. I remember one time in London there was suggested an idea that local residents should get a discount (I do in Nice) but it was thrown out as unfair. But our Council Tax I think was used to help fund some of these places, so maybe it wasn't so discriminatory after all.

    If we take taxes into consideration the Russian museums are funded from the federal budget, since the ticket money hardly cover all the expenses, so all the residents pay for their maintenance, but I think any visitor's perception matters.
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,463 mod
    On the one hand I find this rule unfair, on the other hand I think it should be a way to make the entrance for local people especially for those in need, cheaper.
    This, to stimulate local people visit those places.
    A lot of local just can't afford going there.
  • lisalisa Posts: 740 ✭✭✭
    @april Even though, I do not think those poor can afford the accommodation besides the tickets, take chinese forbidden city for an example, the ticket is not expensive even in the summer which is a tourism time. But the accommodation in Beijing is too expensive to afford.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 711 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
    > @april said:
    > On the one hand I find this rule unfair, on the other hand I think it should be a way to make the entrance for local people especially for those in need, cheaper.
    > This, to stimulate local people visit those places.
    > A lot of local just can't afford going there.

    There are two ways of making equal rates: either equally low or equally high. The first one is percepted as just, but I this case some public money may be needed to cover all the expenses.

    The Russian Bolshoi Theatre's ballet performances have become expensive for many locals, e.g. a ticket for a classical performance is £100-200. But at least they are available at the ticket office and you don't need to contact the black marketeers. And, there are other, cheaper theatres.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,114 mod
    Don't you get cheaper tickets for being a pensioner @april? I thought most countries offer big discounts to the over 60 age group.

    I wonder if Nice is unique in offering a free museum pass to locals who live here. The museum entry fees however are not very expensive (6€) but it does encourage me to go much more frequently and usually I take friends too.
  • lisalisa Posts: 740 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    > Don't you get cheaper tickets for being a pensioner @april? I thought most countries offer big discounts to the over 60 age group.
    >
    It is the same in China, the tickets are much cheaper for children under 12 years old and old people over 60 years old. Not only in the cultural or historical attractions, they can gain discounts, but also the public transport gives them a discount.
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,463 mod
    @mheredge , yes in Antwerp every inhabitant can ask for a free ticket or cheaper ticket for some museum entrances.
    But not for ballet or theatre.
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,463 mod
    lisa said:

    @april Even though, I do not think those poor can afford the accommodation besides the tickets, take chinese forbidden city for an example, the ticket is not expensive even in the summer which is a tourism time. But the accommodation in Beijing is too expensive to afford.

    That's why the state should give them an alternative.
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,463 mod
    @Practical_Severard , the tickets for those kind of performances are even too expensive for me. I'm not rich though. :D
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 711 ✭✭✭
    > @april said:
    > @Practical_Severard , the tickets for those kind of performances are even too expensive for me. I'm not rich though. :D

    Yes, especially if you want to take out your family. But, the good thing about this is that we have several places to watch ballet in this city, and young and not famous yet dancers have their public.

    I've checked the admission prices of a largest museum of Russian visual arts in Moscow - the Tretyakov gallery. I'm amazed to have learned that they don't charge foreign nationals more. £6,5 buys an adult ticket while children can visit free of charge.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,114 mod
    In London the Royal Opera House have free lunch-time concerts on Mondays where young performers are given a chance to sing and we can hear terrific music without paying the high price of a ticket @Practical_Severard and @april. It is not at all well advertised because I think they are afraid it might prove too popular!
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