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Shops in scenic town back in business (2)

By HE DAN and WEN XINZHENG (China Daily)

11:38, April 13, 2013

Previously, entry to the town was free but tourists had to buy tickets for each scenic spot they visited.

Liu said: "I don't like the new policy because a large number of visitors I meet here don't fancy doing too much sightseeing. They just want to spend some time to relax in this historical town. The admission charge for entering the old town will discourage many tourists from coming."

On Thursday, crowds gathered on roads and the riverbank to protest, while dozens of police with shields maintained order. Photos of the protest spread online.

Wang Hong, a lawyer in Changsha, capital of Hunan province, is also opposed to the new policy in her hometown.

"The old town is also a place where locals live. There are many private properties, so ownership (of the town) does not belong to the government — the streets there are public, too. Local residents have not empowered the government to enclose the town to sell entrance tickets.

"The admission fee will deter local residents from inviting friends and relatives who do not live in the old town from visiting their homes."

Wang said the government also failed to seek public opinion during the decision-making process.

However, Xiang Yang, who has worked for a local travel agency for more than 13 years, welcomed the new rule.

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