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National Palace Museum ticket prices to rise in July

TAIPEI -- Admissions to the National Palace Museum (NPM), one of Taiwan's major tourist attractions, are set to go up from July 1 in an adjustment that will mainly affect overseas visitors, the head of the museum said yesterday.

Prices for individual tickets are to be raised from NT$160 (US$5.27) to NT$250. Group visitors will be charged NT$230 each, a 130-percent increase from the current price of NT$100.

The price of discount tickets for small children, seniors and students will also go up from NT$80 to NT$150.

Taiwanese citizens will only have to pay NT$150 each for admission if they produce an identification card.

That represents a NT$10 discount from the current price of NT$160, said Fung Ming-chu, director of the museum.

The massive increase in the group ticket price is expected to impact mainly overseas visitors, especially those from China. A total of 2.8 million people visited the museum in groups in 2012, 2.12 million of whom came from China.

Fung noted in a committee meeting at the Legislative Yuan Monday that despite the adjustment of the group rate, 18 categories of local people can still enter the museum for free, including students on school-organized trips, senior citizens and low-income individuals on a pre-approved basis.

The increases, first proposed in March 2013, were postponed twice because of strong opposition from the public and travel agencies.

Fung said the price hikes are necessary due to the rising operating costs and electricity rates and in view of the soaring number of visitors to the museum.

The number of visitors to the NPM surpassed 4.5 million in 2013.

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Visitors descend the steps at the National Palace Museum in Taipei. The museum announced that it will be hiking its ticket prices starting this July, from NT$160 to NT$250 for adults and NT$100 to NT$230 for group tickets; increasing the prices by approximately 36 and 57 percent respectively. Taiwanese citizens can purchase tickets at NT$150 by presenting their ID at the ticket booths. (CNA)

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