March 01, 2010

Travel Notes

Hermitage Reneges

The State Hermitage Museum abandoned its announced plan to equalize its entrance fees for Russian and foreign tourists. Director Mikhail Piotrovsky had promised to level ticket prices (which cost foreigners R350 and Russians R100), but the museum ended up doing exactly the opposite: raising foreigner ticket prices to R400.

“Russians don’t live well enough to pay the full fee,” Piotrovsky explained to Rossiyskaya Gazeta. The discriminatory pricing principle has long infuriated both tourists and the tourism industry. The Hermitage, one of the most famous museums in the world, is visited by 2.5 million people every year, of which 500,000 are foreigners. Setting different price levels is a common practice in Russian museums and other attractions.

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