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New entry fees for Fenghuang scenic town

By He Dan and Wen Xinzheng (China Daily)

08:16, April 17, 2013

People pose for photos in Fenghuang county, Hunan provincem April 13, 2013. (Xinhua)

>> Entrance fee to ancient town hurting tourism
>> Locals protest over prices in Fenghuang ancient town
>> Fenghuang ancient town now charging for entry

Authorities in Fenghuang county, Hunan province, reduced student ticket prices for its scenic old town and gave more people free entry amid rising pressure from netizens and small businesses who protested the tourist site's new paid-entry requirement.

Tourists have been charged 148 yuan ($23.93) for a ticket to visit the old town since April 10. Entry was previously free.

Cai Long, deputy head of the county government, said on Tuesday that the new ticketing policy will not be abandoned. He said it helps to better protect the site and ensures a more pleasant experience for tourists.

Starting April 20, Cai said, students with a valid ID or student card only need to pay 20 yuan for a ticket to the old town of Fenghuang, which has stood for at least 300 years. The current student admission charge is 80 yuan.

He said the government has also adjusted its free-entry policy, which now applies to two additional counties in Xiangxi in addition to residents of the Tujia-Miao autonomous prefecture, which now applies to all residents in Huaihua, Tongren, two neighboring cities of Fenghuang apart from local residents from Xiangxi Tujia-Miao autonomous prefecture (Fenghuang was a part of the prefecture).

Cai said the government received 40 yuan from each ticket, adding that revenue from the tickets will go to the town's maintenance work.

He said that the abundance of tourists generated heavy traffic and an excessive amount of trash.

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