Dutch zoos increasingly expensive; still popular

Giant panda Xing Ya with his birthday cake at Ouwehands Zoo, 8 Aug 2017
Giant panda Xing Ya with his birthday cake at Ouwehands Zoo, 8 Aug 2017Photo: Ouwehands Zoo

Visiting a Dutch zoo is increasingly expensive, but they are also increasingly popular. Over the past five years ticket prices increased by an average of 17 percent, and visitor numbers at zoos in the Netherlands increased by 11 percent in four years, RTL Nieuws reports based on its own research.

The broadcaster compared the current ticket prices of all zoos affiliated with the Dutch association of zoos NVD to the prices from 2012. On average the ticket price for an adult increased by 3 euros, with outliers of 5 or even 9 euros. 

The money raised by the increased prices are mainly spent on large investments, like new habitats and attractions. "People are no longer satisfied with a simple zoo. In addition, the zoo density in the Netherlands is high, so there is a lot of competition", Bart Stadhouders, lecturer on theme parks and zoos at NHTV, explained to the broadcaster. Zoos need to distinguish themselves, and therefore must continue to invest to maintain current visitor numbers.

Despite the price increases, Dutch zoos remain popular with visitor numbers increasing by 11 percent in four years, according to figures from the zoos themselves. "A day out costs money and people don't mind that", Stadhouders said to RTL. "Prices also rise a little bit every year, so you do not really notice."