Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby kau826 » 26 May 2012, 22:55

Pingdong wrote:A person can think of it as charging tourists more, or a person can look at it as giving locals a discount.

For me, it's good to realize that somehow a buddhist's wise concept of mutual consideration flickering in this sentence. Thanks and this makes me happy. Hmmm, I can tolerate dual pricing when it goes to the locals of the county and the tourists from other counties and overseas. After all, the privilege to the locals can uplift the feeling of identifying themselves to their native place. But when this pricing policy is to mark off Taiwanese and foreigners, it makes me feel a lot more uneasy. It could be wrongly perceived as a trivial discrimination.
Muzha Man wrote:Yes, there is a theoretical foreigner quota but in reality I have never seen it effectively used except for members of AIT and foreign embassies.

As for local rates for national parks in the US, I think people are confusing local resident priviledges with national. That is, the rates in Taiwan are for all citizens and supposedly ARC holders as well (though that was not in the works when Steve and I began writing and complaining to the authorities.

In many states, local state residents can get special yearly passes to national and state parks and other exemptions. Even in Canada, when I lived in Banff I had a yearly pass partly because it would ortherwise mean that residents like me would be paying each time we left and re-entered our town. That is not at all the same as charging foreigners more for the same entry. Nor can the NT200 rate for Taiwanese be considered a discount. This is a two-tier system.

If they gave Nantou county residents a lower rate that would be equivalent.

So I agree with the last words.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby Pingdong » 28 May 2012, 03:11

just skimming last few pages, but I think many people have the wrong idea.

my points are this:

Yushan has enough tourists. if more people come, charge more. I am no fan of charging to see nature at all, but once its charged I have no beef with charging non residents more.

the thing is that locals (this also includes foreign nationals who work and live here) do pay taxes. all kinds. tourists only pay sales taxes, which here are all included and just run up the line. too many people here are thinking it is gauging tourists, maybe it is, but we need to maybe look at it as opening up doors to teh people who already have paid for it via taxation (aka residents). this makes sense. I agree it can give the wrong impression, but that is often due to ignorance and short sightedness with the people who need to pay more.

I am the first to agree that Taiwan has lots to offer the "western backpacker" culture, they could do 10x better. they already concentrate on the rich Asian shipper market, why not open up to the west too.

Fact is if it needs to be paid for and I already pay taxes for that service, why should I have to pay again? visitors do not pay at all for upkeep, so it makes sense, *from a financial standpoint*, to charge visitors more.

Personally i prefer to see charges more in the area of pollution and waste and things we need to cut down, and open up natural things like hiking as a free past time.

I don't like paying for hiking, seeing a trail etc. Not in Taiwan, not in Canada, and not anywhere else I have traveled. But I have always kind of liked the idea of cheaper prices for locals, because it promotes the local people and families to get out there. maybe yushan less so. but seeing as it is SO busy and there are more people than are allowed on the trail it seems, if they are going to cash in on a natural area, thats a good one. and i really dont mind being a tourist and paying more than a local simply because it is really just a local paying less. I see how it gives people a bad taste...sorry, but reality is what reality is and this is far from the biggest issue facing tourism in Taiwan.

I wont go back to tourist trap places either (such as borneo or the penn. malaysian area), not because they are setup to rape tourists but because they are setup to pimp out nature. they have completely fucked their land, and now they fuck people who want to see the few shreds left that they didnt mow down for oil. That said, even that story has 2 sides. I am far happier paying to climb a mountain knowing it wont be planted with rubber, palm oil (or here betel nut). if $700 a climb is the price of conservation, its a bitter pill i will happily swallow. But thats not so much the problem her ein Taiwan as much of the truly undeveloped areas are not developed more to do with the geography, so we can be fairly sure in a fairly high amount of mountain areas not being totally F'd like you see in the flat lands or in other countries.

Sitting fences, playing devils advocate :)

In the end, I always thought "state" run things should be free to residents, and make the visitors pay for the services that we already pay for through taxation. ferries, buses, schools, trails, zoos, parks, health insurance etc etc.

ORRRRR, be like Canada, make EVERYTHING so damned EXPENSIVE that you need to actually budget your month to go do stuff. If the issue is that Taiwan is getting more westernized in the wrong areas, i sympathize.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby StevenCrook » 28 May 2012, 07:59

Pingdong wrote:the thing is that locals (this also includes foreign nationals who work and live here) do pay taxes. all kinds. tourists only pay sales taxes, which here are all included and just run up the line.


While it's true that sales tax is the only tax tourists pay, I'd be very interested to know how much tax they pay in total per day compared to an average resident. A lot of tourists spend well over NT$5000 per person per day (backpackers spend less, of course), which is far more than the average local, so it's quite possible that IN TOTAL they pay more tax each day they are in Taiwan than a resident who pays a bit of income tax, land tax etc - and who probably pays no sales tax on his daily breakfast and biandang.

The concept of "loss leaders" is well established in tourism. The Swiss government (ie Swiss taxpayers) subsidizes alpine cog railways because they help draw foreign visitors, who then spend lots in restaurants and hotels. My hometown (Brighton, UK) built a conference center on the taxpayer's coin. They offer the use of this center FOR FREE to political parties and other organizations to get them to hold conventions etc in Brighton, knowing that lots of money will be spent in the hotels, F&B outlets etc etc. The problem with this is that often it ends up as state assets being used to enrich private businesses, but if those businesses pay the taxes they should, I guess it's OK. Of course, Yushan shouldn't be used for this purpose - but it's why local citizens/local residents are sometimes asked to put up with a bit of apparent unfairness for the greater good.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby sandman » 28 May 2012, 12:48

I recall my climbing days in the Alps and the Himalaya back in the 1970s. We had to pay full price, while locals got discounts.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby Mucha Man » 28 May 2012, 23:12

sandman wrote:I recall my climbing days in the Alps and the Himalaya back in the 1970s. We had to pay full price, while locals got discounts.


The rate to stay the night at Yushan has always been NT220. Therefore foreign travellers are being charged trice the normal rate. This is NOT a local discount in place.

I'd also be interested in seeing a comparison of the makeup of hikers. Were the majority of hikers in the Himalaya locals? That seems very unlikely. Therefore the majority of hikers were paying the higher rate: which means that's the rate the authorities felt was fairest or what the market could bear.

For Yushan, NT220 is a pittance. A token. NT700 is not much more. If there was a real market price that the MAJORITY of hikers were paying, and that a minority of locals got a discount then some of the counter-arguments would make sense.

But the MAJORITY of hikers to Yushan will pay NT220. Therefore that is the fair market rate. Therefore, foreigners are being triple priced and as Steve and I have argued, the extra services out NT480 is supposed to go for, will be second rate if even available.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby Confuzius » 28 May 2012, 23:43

Muzha Man wrote:
For Yushan, NT220 is a pittance. A token. NT700 is not much more. If there was a real market price that the MAJORITY of hikers were paying, and that a minority of locals got a discount then some of the counter-arguments would make sense.

But the MAJORITY of hikers to Yushan will pay NT220. Therefore that is the fair market rate. Therefore, foreigners are being triple priced and as Steve and I have argued, the extra services out NT480 is supposed to go for, will be second rate if even available.


I don't mean to be contrary to you or your cause MM, but the lines you are drawing in the sand to justify your view seem quite arbitrary.

What does it matter what the MAJORITY will pay? That does not make it the "fair market rate", if the price most people pay was 3000nt that would not, somehow magically make 3000nt the 'fair market rate'.

The fact that the majority=locals does not, in any way have any relevance to what the 'fair market rate' is for foreigners.

Perhaps one should look at it this way: the fair market rate is 700+nt, but the government is being kind to its citizens, many of whom (like my security guard) make 75nt an hour (yes, 75....) by giving them a HUGE discount from the 'fair market rate'.

Like I said, it just seems the basis for what you are saying is quite arbitrary and can be easily looked at a different way.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby Mucha Man » 29 May 2012, 01:06

Confuzius wrote:...The fact that the majority=locals does not, in any way have any relevance to what the 'fair market rate' is for foreigners.

Perhaps one should look at it this way: the fair market rate is 700+nt, but the government is being kind to its citizens, many of whom (like my security guard) make 75nt an hour (yes, 75....) by giving them a HUGE discount from the 'fair market rate'.


We had a baseline price for EVERYONE for about a decade. Now that baseline price has gone up 3x for a certain group. Thanks for your contribution but if you can't grasp that when a situation changes in this way that it means a rise for one group and not a discount for another then I have nothing more to say. Even the park argues that this is a rise is price for foreigners because they are getting extra services. Show me where the park claims locals are getting a discount (as parks or theatres or Disneyland in the US would clearly show) and you have an argument.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby CraigTPE » 29 May 2012, 05:17

StuartCa wrote:This is quite common for many countries. In Egypt, locals get into the Museum for free or very little and tourists pay a lot more and I believe that the Himalaya have similar policies. The perception is that tourists have more money.

This is my experience in Cambodia, too, at the temples, museums and other sights. Makes sense, though, when the average income for a local might be $80/month or less.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby Omniloquacious » 29 May 2012, 08:17

I wonder what percentage of those climbing the mountain are non-resident foreign nationals? Surely less than 5%, and perhaps as low as 1%?

Also, I'd bet my shirt and trousers that the average Taiwanese climber is wealthier (in income and assets) than the average foreign climber. All of the Taiwanese I know who have climbed it own million-dollar homes (USD, not NTD) and have very substantial incomes. I doubt there are many 7-Eleven shop assistants doing the climb.
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Re: Climbing Mount Jade to cost foreigners NT$700, but locals just NT$220

Postby StevenCrook » 29 May 2012, 12:01

Omniloquacious wrote:I wonder what percentage of those climbing the mountain are non-resident foreign nationals? Surely less than 5%, and perhaps as low as 1%?

Also, I'd bet my shirt and trousers that the average Taiwanese climber is wealthier (in income and assets) than the average foreign climber. All of the Taiwanese I know who have climbed it own million-dollar homes (USD, not NTD) and have very substantial incomes. I doubt there are many 7-Eleven shop assistants doing the climb.


Some of the Taiwanese I know who've climbed it don't have much in the way of assets. I guess you and I move in different circles.
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