Tourist pricing: Right or wrong?

Travel Forums General Talk Tourist pricing: Right or wrong?

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1. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 172 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Tourist pricing, sometimes known as the locals discount, is a thing we've all experienced in our travels. It is even something we can find examples of at home - getting in for free while non nationals pay, or being charged less than non nationals. I am speaking of sites (and sights), museums, national parks and the like.

I have read many articles on the interwebs about whether this is right or wrong - should everyone everywhere be charged one fair price to see something? Of course, this will never happen at all, but how do you feel being charged more based on where you are from? Again, I know this will continue to be a reality, but I just want to hear what the TP community has to say.


2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 813 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

For genuine historic sites I'm generally OK with it provided it doesn't make the foreigner price expensive.
The equivalent of $5 instead of $2 (or $3) but when it's $10 instead of $2 or $3 I usually walk away on principal.
Most of these countries need to use the government money (that isn't being misused) to raise their poor out of poverty, so if a few extra of my $ goes to keeping/restoring historic sites then I don't see a problem.

3. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 192 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Could not agree any further with Andrew Mack.

I don't mind paying extra there and there especially in less developed countries. The art, museums, architectural sites have to be available and affordable to everyone irrelevant of their income, which would mean the ticket prices for locals sometimes would need to be subsided (by government, 'tourist tax' , etc).

However there is a limit to this. Once I've walked away as the 'tourist price' was MUCH more expensive from anything I ever paid in Western Europe (cemetery in Havana, Cuba). Ahh common guys

In most cases to my experience so far I only paid extra €0.50-€1 so not a big deal

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 685 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Agree absolutely.

I have no concerns at all about being charged more than citizens of a country to visit its sights/sites/museums and suchlike. I haven't encountered any massive differences.

A 'tourist charge' is levied in lots of countries and helps to relieve the financial burden of maintaining sites etc so others can visit them. It doesn't happen in the UK but, to be honest, I rather wish it did.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Apr-2019, at 01:11 by leics2 ]

5. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 911 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

I too have no problem with this, within reason. Almost always it is done in countries where income levels are far lower than in my own, so proportionally the prices are fair. Plus, if government owned the site may already be being paid for to some extent by locals through their taxes. And finally, by charging locals a lower price they are encouraged to visit and appreciate their own heritage.

Sometimes too the tourist price includes extras. For instance, we paid more at the Taj Mahal but the price included the hire of plastic shoe covers to wear in the tomb while locals had to pay for these or walk barefoot on the hot marble.

6. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 172 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ToonSarah

I too have no problem with this, within reason

Have you experienced anything you thought was beyond reason in regards to tourist pricing?

7. Posted by Tabithag (Full Member 131 posts) 6w 1 Star this if you like it!

Another agreement from me. My feeling is that locals should be able to enjoy what they have to offer at a price that is reasonable to them, but if more is needed to maintain the site, then increasing the cost to those who can afford more seems fair.

I also rather like the season ticket approach for locals, where for a price not much more than a couple of single entry tickets, (and sometimes even just the same as a single entry,) you can go as often as you like. I think that's a great idea for families who can then drop in and out of museums etc, without having to spend too long at any one time.

8. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 172 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the feedback.

To the posters on this thread: Would you ever eat at a restaurant that clearly lists prices on a menu for locals and prices for tourists? Sort of different than my original scenario, but some aspects are the same - poor country; a local or locals who could benefit from the tourist dollar, etc.

Oddly enough, I have read of this scenario playing out somewhere, although I have never witnessed it myself.

9. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 192 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

No way....

10. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 172 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ToddP

No Way...


What if the restaurant was only charging slightly more than a local would be charged and not clearly taking the piss, like at that cemetery in Havanah?

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Apr-2019, at 14:04 by road to roam ]