Economy: Museums entry fees set to double in revenue push
Museum entry fees are set to double over the next three years as the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) moves to shore up its revenues to reduce its reliance on the exchequers.
Changes proposed in the National Museums and Heritage (Admission Fees) Regulations 2023 have detailed a staggered increase to the admission fees over a three-year period where residents from the East African region will also pay for the fees in dollars.
The National Museums of Kenya says it has not reviewed the admission fees in the past decade hence partly informing the proposed review, which has been subjected to public participation by the State corporation.
“The proposed increase aims to boost internal revenue to support NMK’s efforts in heritage conservation for prosperity. The increased revenue collection would also enhance NMK’s financial sustainability, and address emerging socio-economic issues such as inflation, increased dollar exchange rates, emerging government policies, and revenue volatility among others,” the NMK notes in a regulatory impact statement.
To access the Nairobi National Museum, for instance, Kenyan adults will part with Sh400 in the third year of the new fee implementation, down from Sh200 at present.
The NMK will, however, first increase fees by 50 percent in the first year to Sh300 and by a further 25 percent to Sh350 in the second year.
East African residents (adults) will meanwhile pay $10 (Sh1,516) to access the facility after the three-year implementation cycle, from Sh600 at present.
Foreigners outside the region would meanwhile part with $20 (Sh3,033) to access the same Museum in contrast to Sh1,200 at present.
The NMK is also set to introduce admission fees for facilities such as Tambach, which have recently seen renovations, qualifying them for fees.
Current existing fees were last reviewed in the 2012/13 financial year, hence outdated as per provisions of the 2013 Statutory Instruments Act.
In justifying the newly proposed fees, NMK states that exchequer funding has been inadequate in meeting the operational costs of facilities hence informing the need to raise admission fees.
“Being a service industry, the main source of funds for the National Museums of Kenya is the national government through the National Treasury.
Out of the total budget of the National Museums of Kenya, the national government costs for personnel emoluments/salaries, leaving NMK to cater for its operational costs from internally generated revenue. The government has also been advocating for State corporations to strive towards self-sustainability,” adds the NMK.
The NMK notes that it is also underfunded given the competition for funds from other crucial public expenditures such as education and health.
Moreover, the corporation notes current applicable rates have been overtaken by factors including the rising cost of conservation, development of the exhibition, utility bills, emoluments for service providers, and insurance among other expenditures in addition to inflation.
National Museums of Kenya plays the role of collecting, preserving, studying, and presenting Kenya’s past and present heritage for purposes of enhancing knowledge, appreciation, and prosperity.
NMK admission fees review comes hot on the heels of other proposed changes to costs by government parastatals and ministries including the Ministry of Lands, which reviewed its service fees by up to 100 times and Kenya Railways which is set to lift fares on the standard gauge railway beginning January 1.
Admission fees to National Parks and Game Reserves have also been reviewed upwards.