Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Imposing Limits on the Forbidden City

A pilot plan next month will limit the number of visitors to the Forbidden City
The next time you visit Beijing and want to go to the Forbidden City, make sure you're one of the lucky ones who get to go in.

Management is trying out a pilot scheme to limit the number of visitors to 80,000 per day from June 13. Shan Jixiang, director of the museum says visitor number control is a must to protect the security of both the cultural relics and tourists.

The Palace Museum has had more than 10 million visitors annually in recent years; in the last three years, numbers exceeded 15 million, more than the Louvre and the British Museum, Shan said.

This has resulted in great pressure on the museum's service standard and safety control, Shan said.

What service standard and safety control?

Each time I went there, security guards looked bored, or several times would shout at visitors not to use flash, but were ignored and gave up, or the grounds were not kept clean thanks to lots of littering, and spitting... I don't even want to know if there was urinating in the former imperial palace!

Limiting the number of visitors would be a good start, but guides must advise their tourists of the rules, and if any are violated, the guide should be held responsible. And those visiting on their own and violate the rules should be accountable.

There will also be a real-name registration system for buying tickets, while group tickets must be booked online.

That's the end of our public service announcement for today.

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