Some people think foreign visitors should be charged more than local people when they visit the cultural and historical attractions in a country. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
International tourism has become the backbone of many economies of the world and these countries rely heavily on the tourist dollar. That is why some people opine that foreign visitors should be charged more than the domestic tourists. Although these people have their arguments for their opinions, personally, I disagree with this practice.
It is common in many Indian tourist places to see rate tables such as the following: -Taj Mahal, Agra: Indian Citizens Rs 20, Foreigners Rs 970; Fatehpur Sikri, Agra: Indian Citizens Rs 50, Foreigners Rs 485. The increase in prices is due to the fact that the Indian rupee is much weaker than currencies of many European countries and other developed nations. Therefore, such tourists can afford to pay without feeling the pinch, and the upkeep of historical monuments is done through this money. Secondly, foreigners are accustomed to prices being much higher in their home countries. For example, entry to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art is US$20 (Rs 886). In that context, the Taj – an acknowledged wonder of the world, with centuries of tradition and some of the most striking architecture ever created by man – is very reasonable at Rs 970.
There are many reasons to oppose the above view. Firstly, it is unfair and leads to discrimination. Come to think of it – if an Indian visiting a foreign country has to pay similar high rates, what would be the reaction? On the one hand we brag about ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ ( meaning that guest is like God ), and on the other hand, we fleece these tourists by charging them astronomically high rates. What impression of our country would these tourists take home with them?
Another reason to oppose the above view is that foreign travelers may never come again and this could deter their friends and all others who get this negative information. As it is, the international tourists spend a lot by staying, wining, dining and traveling in the foreign country and so it would be a big loss to that country in the long run.
Summing up, it is not good to charge foreign tourists more than local tourist because it would be unfair and it would be a short-sighted approach to earning the tourist dollar.