Taishan Mountain administration rejects accusations of hiking hotel prices during Qingming
China’s well-known tourist attraction Taishan Mountain was caught up in a whirlwind of public opinion during the Qingming Festival holiday, after the hotels at the top of the mountain were accused of hiking prices, forcing tourists to stay overnight in hotel toilets.
However, the scenic spot management committee responded to the accusation on Monday, saying that the local market watchdog had not received any complaints of hotels’ unilateral breaches of contracts or price-hiking, and the authority has already initiated investigations to protect tourists’ rights.
It is also common practice for backpackers to camp in mountain caves and at the top of the mountain overnight to wait for sunrise.
A staffer from the management committee of the scenic spot told the Global Times on Monday that accommodation prices supervised by the market watchdog are decided by the hotels based on their operation costs and demand. She suggested that tourists book hotel rooms several days in advance due to the shortage of accommodation during peak seasons and visit the tourist attraction during off season.
With the tourism industry picking up after the COVID-19 epidemic being contained and vaccine inoculation progressing steadily nationwide, Taishan Mountain, one of the country’s UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage sites in East China’s Shandong Province, received massive crowds during the three-day Qingming Festival holiday.
However, on the first day of the holiday, some Chinese internet users revealed that accommodation prices near the South Gate to Heaven at the top of the mountain skyrocketed, with some hotels charging as much as 1,200 yuan ($182.80) per night, forcing many tourists to stay overnight in hotel toilets.
A netizen claimed that some restaurants did not offer meals but charged tourists 20 yuan per person to nod off at their tables overnight. Others commented that tourists should plan their trips better and make accommodation reservations for the popular attraction.
According to the scenic spot management committee, there are currently 13 hotels with 400 rooms and 998 beds available at the top of the mountain. Some hotels and restaurants charged tourists to shelter from the cold and wind in their canteens and meeting rooms.
A standard hotel room with two beds charges between 200 yuan and 1,200 yuan during off season, and the prices fluctuate higher during peak season.
However, many netizens expressed understanding on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo about the fluctuating prices.
A netizen named MangluguoVc commented that the hotel rooms are rented on a daily basis, so it is normal for them to vary their charges on different dates, as they do not receive subsidies during off season.
Another netizen named Caishenjie commented that if tourists think the accommodation fees are too expensive, they can rent a tent. After all, it requires a lot of labor and effort to construct the hotels on the mountain top, and it is unrealistic to charge the same as those not on the mountain.
A netizen named Dushenzhifu pointed out that many tourists climbed the Taishan Mountain for the view of the early sunrise, so most of them would rent tents and coats to camp outdoors, which has nothing to do with the price of hotel rooms.