National Palace Museum director Feng Ming-chu (馮明珠) said that admission fees are being increased in response to rising costs and in an effort to maintain the museum’s quality.
The plan to raise ticket prices has been approved by the Ministry of Finance’s National Treasury Administration.
Initially, the price increase was scheduled to take effect on April 15. However, the increase has been delayed until July 1, Fung said.
The price of a regular ticket will rise from NT$160 to NT$250, while group tickets will cost NT$250 instead of NT$100, including a NT$20 fee for an audio guide, the museum said.
She added that the price of discounted tickets for students and military personnel will be raised from NT$80 to NT$150.
The admission fees have been adjusted in view of rising electricity rates and personnel costs, the director said, adding that the museum also wants to control the number of visitors in an effort to maintain quality.
Under the Charges and Fees Act (規費法), ticket prices should be reviewed at least every three years, she said, adding that the last time the museum raised ticket prices was in 2008.
Fung denied speculation that the increase in the group ticket price was targeted at Chinese tourists, saying that the museum’s group admission ticket price is low compared with other museums and that in addition to Chinese tourists, the museum also gets many Japanese visitors.
“In an effort to avoid deterring Taiwanese visitors, the museum is considering free admission for students,” Fung said.
Currently, Taiwanese can visit the museum for free after 6:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Meanwhile, some legislators said the profits from the restaurants and gift shops at the museum should be handed over to the Treasury.
There is a huge discrepancy between the revenues collected and the amount given to the government, the legislators were quoted by local media as saying.
The museum recorded revenues of NT$660 million (US$22 million) in 2010 and NT$840 million in 2011, but handed over NT$52 million and NT$23 million respectively to the government, the reports said.
The legislators added that the museum gave each of its employees NT$3,000 worth of vouchers last year.
The legislators asked Fung to hand the matter over to the Control Yuan for investigation.
In response, Fung said she has asked the employees to return the vouchers by Friday and therefore there would be no need for an investigation.