Stop the dual pricing system plan for hikers staying at Paiyun Lodge
(ENGLISH TEXT BELOW)
大多數在台灣的外國人非常關心最近玉山國家公園排雲山莊(玉山登頂唯一住宿地點)對外國登山客雙重收費的問題, 玉山國家公園計劃對本國登山者與外國人居留者收取新台幣220元, 而對外國登山客收取新台幣700元的費用,超過本國登山者三倍的費用.
第三世界與開發中國家觀光雙重收費的問題普遍存在, 而發生在已開發國家如臺灣真是非比尋常,玉山國家公園排雲山莊此類似第三世界對外國登山客雙重收費的舉動(臺灣第一次), 勢必造成外國人對臺灣觀光的負面觀感.
參與此次聯名抗議的著名臺灣版寂寞星球(Lonely Planet Taiwan Guide)作者Robert Kelly說道: …. 此舉不但違反臺灣觀光市場的推動且將誤導國際觀光客對臺灣非常糟糕的認知.
請參與我們一齊請求玉山國家公園再次考量此決定, 懇請上網寫信至玉山國家公園http://100mountain.ysnp.gov.tw/chinese/Email_Index.aspx,或上網簽名參與此聯名抗議活動. http://www.change.org/petitions/yushan-national-park-taiwan-stop-the-dual-pricing-system-plan-for-hikers-staying-at-paiyun-lodge
We are very concerned at Yushan National Park’s plan to introduce a double-pricing system for hikers staying at Paiyun Lodge on Jade Mountain, when the lodge re-opens.
While we are grateful that ARC-holding foreign residents are exempt from paying the higher rate, we feel that charging foreign visitors over three times the rate applicable to local and foreign resident climbers is both unfair and liable to create negative publicity for both Yushan National Park and the Taiwanese tourism industry in general. This policy could also set a worrying precedent, possibly encouraging other key tourist attractions in Taiwan to start their own dual-pricing system.
Double-pricing, a highly annoying practice for many tourists, is common in many third-world and developing countries, such as India, China and several nations in Latin America, where local residents generally earn a much lower salary than the average foreign tourist. Such practice is highly unusual in developed countries such as Taiwan however, and implementation of a double-pricing system at Paiyun Lodge (which as far as we’re aware will be a first in Taiwan) will surely encourage unfavorable comparison with similar pricing systems at third-world tourist destinations.
We’re also concerned about the National Park’s declared reasons for establishing this double-pricing system. According to an email from the National Park in reply to an enquiry about the plan from Steven Crook (author of the popular Bradt Travel Guide to Taiwan), recorded on Mr Crook’s blog (http://bradttaiwan.blogspot.com/),
“The fee of Paiyun Lodge includes the cost of construction, management, and maintenance, etc. Local visitors staying overnight at Paiyun Lodge will be charged NT$220 per night. As for foreign visitors, the fee of NT$700 contains extra cost [sic]of management for the service of bilingual staff, the maintenance of website [sic] in foreign languages, English signs, and brochures in foreign languages, etc.”
If foreign visitors (although curiously not including ARC permit holders) will be expected to pay a huge premium for the establishment of English signage/interpretive services etc. it will be a first in the Taiwanese National Park system. Taroko National Park and Shei-Pa National Parks have for several years provided a comprehensive, accurate and idiomatic English language service on their websites, in printed material and in signage, and to date have announced no plan to charge foreign visitors an extra cent for the service.
It appears we’re not alone in voicing our concerns as to the possible negative effects of a dual-pricing system at Paiyun Lodge among foreign visitors. On his blog, Mr Crook quotes a response from David W. Hsieh, the new director-general of the Tourism Bureau:
“Thank you for your email concerning the pricing policy of Paiyun Lodge in Yushan National Park. From the standpoint of international promotion, we think that it is not proper to charge foreigners differently from local citizens for the use of tourist facilities. As we mentioned before, national parks are outside the jurisdiction of the Tourism Bureau; we will, however, make strong suggestions about this matter to the Ministry of the Interior's Construction and Planning Agency, which is the agency in charge of the parks.”
We feel strongly that the negative effects of the new pricing plan at Paiyun Lodge will far outweigh the extra capital to be gained by charging foreign visitors more, and ask you to seriously reconsider the merits of this planned dual-pricing system.
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