Museum card price on the rise

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The Museumkaart (Museum card), with which people have year-long unlimited access to museums in the Netherlands, has become so successful that the price has gone up by €5. From the 1st of July, subscribers pay €54,95.

The Museumkaart has existed since 1980, but was called Museumjaarkaart (Museum Year Card). In the last three years, the price of the subscription has gone up three times. This has not, however, had an influence on the card's rising popularity.

The card gives subscribers free entry for a year to the collections of almost 400 museums in the netherlands. For temporary, large-scale exhibitions, the museums sometimes add an extra cost.

In the last few years, the card's popularity has grown immensely. In 2003, there were 300,000 subscribers. Now, one million people have a Museumkaart. Museum Associations now have to give more to cultural institutions. The money that the cards make is added to a kitty. The contents of that kitty are shared between the museums that partake in the deal on the basis of the entry fee and the number of card members that visit these museums. The card is a commercial product, without subsidy, but no money is made with it.

The Museumkaart made the associated museums €40 million last year, 30 percemt more than in 2012. This amount was spent on the joint promotion of the 400 associated museums, and on paying for the visits with the card.

If all card holders go to a museum more than six times a year, then the Museum Association, who make the card, lost money on that. Last year, the card holders collectively made 6.4 million visits. The expectation for this year is that these visits will grow to 7 million.

Many museums opened or re-opened their doors recently, causing an even greater flood of visitors, and a rise in amounts that the Museum Association has to pay out to its members. In two years' time, five museums opened or re-opened their doors in Amsterdam: The Shipping Museum, the EYE Film Institute, the City Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum.

The economic crisis is also a reason why Dutch people have been museum-hopping more. There is less travel to abroad, meaning that Dutch people have been spending vacations or holidays in the country, and museums have profited.