If you’ve traveled to China in the last year you may have noticed the country has become more expensive. We’ve taken some time here to explain why:
1. Appreciation of the Chinese yuan. The New York Times has reported that since 2005, the Chinese RMB has appreciated almost 30 percent. Read – Euros and dollars are no longer worth as much in China.
2. The increase in the cost of fuel has had an effect on a number of different aspects of our tours. In the U.S. a gallon of regular gas costs around $3.43 while in China the price is $4.59. Not only has transportation become more expensive, so has supplying restaurants with food that is shipped to them. The result? Higher prices on the menus.
3. A hike in admission fees. As WildChina consultant Catherine noted, “In the U.S., there are some parks where entrance is free, but trying to get into any park in China without paying admission is impossible.” This year many of these admission fees have increased, some as much 60 RMB per person per day. When you consider a trip that visits ten different parks and sites, these fees become significant. In Sichuan’s Jiuzhaigou, for example, which is well known for its beautiful turquoise lakes, daily admission can run well over 200 RMB.
4. Luxury cars are more expensive in China. In China, a combination of taxes and tariffs make fancy cars much more expensive than in the U.S. A Buick Enclave in America costs $36,500, however as a result of China’s fees the same car in Beijing would cost around $63,500. The end result of this higher price is a much greater car rental cost than one would encounter in the U.S.
5. Rising salaries. A final factor that has had an influence on travel in China is the rise in people costs. Over the past ten years, Chinese wages and salaries have grown by an annual average of 14%. Because WildChina values high service standards, we have always paid our guides competitive wages. Thus, unlike other travel companies, increases in this area have been minimal.
When appropriate, WildChina’s approach strives to mitigate costs, but we will always maintain our commitment to safety, personal service and comfort when exploring the wilder side of China.
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