Let me tell you something. My view on Tourist Pricing has completely changed since I started writing this article.
You see; it’s amazing how we grow and learn as we travel. We find out about so many experiences and stories. And there are those experiences that will stay wii us.
For most tourists, different prices being charged at different destinations – depending on who you deal with – is almost a certainty.
Everyone has a story to tell.
Indeed, all travellers have probably encountered “Tourist Pricing” at one point or another during their travels.
When we arrive at a famous site, we always look at our guide-book to see what the cost of entrance should be.
We then look up from our book only to see a new price listed on the entrance board.
Inevitably, the site owner has decided to charge tourists anything from 10 times up to 200 times more than locals for the ticket.
“But tourists make more money than locals.”
The argument is almost always the same.
But does that make the concept legitimate?
In many cases this is correct, but it certainly isn’t an all-encompassing truth.
If indeed all tourists did make more than all locals in the given country, then surely it would be fair for them to pay more… but this simply isn’t true.
Given the absence of any financial checks, this argument is wrong as it’s no longer about wage, but about color of skin and nationality, which simply boils down to discrimination.
Another argument is that “locals pay for the upkeep of sights with taxes, so they should pay less.”
This is possibly the most valid of arguments in this article and one that is worth a look.
Locals often do pay a government tax for the upkeep of their own sites, so perhaps they should pay less.
The problem with this argument is that, unfortunately, it is almost always locals who damage the sites and cause them to need repair.
Anyone who has travelled has noticed graffiti on even the most stunning of historical sites. It doesn’t take long to realize that all of the graffiti is in the local language, and if it is in English it is broken English.
“Tourism is a big business for the local economy and the government should maximize profits for the people.” This is another argument.
This is absolutely true, tourism is big business for many developing nations.
Tourists come from thousands of miles away to spend their hard earned money on a nice vacation.
The government, shop owners, hotels, transportation services and restaurants already benefit a huge amount from an influx of tourism.
But the fact of the matter is that four out of the five services are the exact same price for locals and tourists.
So why does the government get to charge 10 times more for travellers to visit sites? And how much of that actually makes it down to the people?
This argument too is flawed.
The bottom line is that there should be no tourist pricing.
Even if it’s just a few cents more, there’s just no need for it.
Nations and their governments should feel honored that foreigners want to travel thousands of miles to see their beautiful country and gaze at their outstanding sites.
This should be celebrated, not taken advantage of.
There is no way to justify charging people more, or treating people differently based solely on their nationality or the coluor of their skin.