Kids take the adults to Heritage Malta sites with free entry scheme

Children will get free access to Heritage Malta sites as well as two accompanying adults

It may well be the most imaginative measure found in this year’s budget, using the prospect of free entrance to heritage sites for any child and any two accompanying adults as bait for wider cultural appreciation.

Presently a couple and a child visiting Hagar Qim and Mnajdra or the war museum in St Elmo are expected to pay €25.50. A similar trip to the Inquisitor’s Palace in Birgu costs €15. As from next year such an outing would become completely free.

Moreover, the measure is devised in a way to lure more adults into the culture trap.

Any two children under the age of 16 in a group of visitors will secure free entrance themselves and four other adults. This will serve as an incentive for families to aggregate together to organise cultural trips.  Moreover the adults benefitting from free entrance to cultural places do not have to be the children’s parents.  The measure will therefore probably benefit grand parents, relatives and even family friends.

This represents a considerable improvement over a scheme announced by Heritage Malta in 2016 through which Primary school children in possession of a membership card can visit any Heritage Malta (except for the Hypogeum) site for free, while any two adults accompanying paid half price. This is because the measure will now also apply to children attending secondary schools and the adults will enter for free.

Heritage Malta presently runs 19 different sites which have admission fees in Malta and Gozo. This means that families can now benefit from a free cultural outing once or twice a month.

Heritage Malta registered a record 1.3 million visitors to cultural sites in 2017, resulting in another record of €7 million.  This reflected a 10 per cent increase over 2016 and a 16 per cent increase over 2015.This increase reflects the increase in the number of tourists in the past years.