MADRID.- The Museo del Prado
will be modifying its entry prices. This initiative has the dual aim of reducing the price of a pre-booked ticket on the internet, which will go down to 7 Euros, and raising the price of a general ticket bought at the Museums ticket desks, which goes up to 8 Euros. This innovative new formula is intended to encourage the use of pre-booking on the internet in order to make entry to the Museum easier and avoid the normal queues. This service is also available on tel: 902 10 70 77.
Applying an initiative envisaged in the Museums 2009-2012 Action Plan, the Royal Board of Trustees yesterday approved the modification of the prices of entry tickets to the Museum. This measure, which will start on 15 May, involves an increase of 2 Euros on the price of a normal ticket acquired directly at the Museum, while the price of a ticket acquired by internet or telephone will go down. This new pricing system does not affect those groups entitled to free entry nor the times when the Museum is free to the public. As a result, it only affects half of all visitors, as the annual average of visitors entering the Museum free of charge is around 50% of the total.
This decision to lower the price of tickets that are pre-booked by phone and internet aims to cut down on the queues to enter the Museum by increasing the number of visits using this system of pre-booked tickets for specific days and entry times. Last year this system accounted for 38% of all entries (the percentage is calculated on the base of paid tickets and excludes free ones), while this percentage rose to 42% during the first quarter of this year. With the elimination of the commission for handling and issue previously applied to this service and the difference of 1 Euro with regard to the ticket desk price, it is expected that this percentage will increase significantly.
The new system maintains the 50% reduction available to some categories of visitors on the normal entry price. These visitors will also benefit from a discount on the reduced price available at the ticket desks by using the pre-booked internet or phone service as until now, the pre-booked service has not included the option of these reduced price tickets. In addition, groups comprising between 8 and 30 people who are obliged to use this system in order to avoid congestion at the Museums ticket desks will pay the same price as the one applied up to now: 7.50 Euros per person.
The Museums Royal Board of Trustees approved this resolution that will modify the entry prices to the Museum for the first time since 2005. Entry prices are now roughly comparable to those of other European institutions of similar importance and type although entry tickets to the Prado continue to be among the most modestly priced among European museums, with a particularly wide range of options for free entry both regarding particular sectors of visitors and the general free entry hours (676 hours per year), together with its exceptionally long opening hours. Pending final administrative procedures, the intention is to introduce this new system on 15 May.