Thousands of visitors pack Wuhan University's campus to see its cherry blossoms in Wuhan, Hubei Province, on Sunday, March 27, 2011. [Xinhua]
Central China's Wuhan University doesn't profit from ticket sales to visitors wanting to take a stroll among the cherry blossoms on campus, a university spokesman said.
Because of the cherry blossom trees, Wuhan University is considered one of China's most beautiful and has become a popular tourist destination. On March 26, over 200,000 visitors converged on the campus to enjoy the scenery.
During each year's cherry blossom season, student identification cards or tickets are required for entry. Tickets sell for 10 yuan (US$1.50).
The university faced criticism for the entry fees, and rumors spread via the Internet that ticket sales netted up to 8 million yuan each year.
Qian Jianguo, office director of Wuhan University, attempted to clarify things by explaining that not all visitors buy tickets and stating that last year's income amounted to only 1 million yuan.
Money from ticket sales are put into infrastructure support, such as temporary toilets and human resources, according to Qian. About 2,000 students volunteer to work during the cherry blossom season, and many traffic police are deployed around the campus for crowd management and traffic control.
Any additional money left over from ticket sales is used to provide subsidies for poor students, Qian said.