Entrance fees will be scrapped at 12 museums across Cyprus in a bid to boost visitors.
The Cabinet on Thursday gave the green light for a proposal tabled by the Transport Ministry, which suggested a free entrance policy at 12 museums under the Department of Antiquities.
In preparing its proposal, the Transport Ministry took into account UNESCO recommendations, which showed that free admission policies at museums in other European countries such as the UK and Sweden. It also considered the views of local and international tourist institutions and organizations as well as the positive views and suggestions of the Association of Cyprus Archaeologists.
Elsewhere in Europe, such policies over time led to an increase of visitors to museums of over 50%.
The move comes in light of the low traffic levels at museums under the Antiquities Department. In 2019, though a sum of 1,285,538 people visited the bulk of the museums, archaeological sites and monuments under the Department, just 82,476 had visited museums.
The new policy will also see travel packages enriched with trips to the specific museums without added costs, while museum opening times will be expanded to include the weekends.
The policy will affect the following 12 museums: the Cyprus Museum (Nicosia), the Ethnological Museum-House of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios (Nicosia), the Museum of Traditional Embroidery and Silversmith-work (Lefkara), the Ethnological Museum of Fikardou, the Archaeological Museums of Larnaca, Limassol, and Paphos, the local Archaeological Museum of Kourion (Episkopi), the local Archaeological Museum of Marion-Arsinois (Polis Chrysochous), the local Archaeological Museum of Ancient Idalion, the Geroskipou Folk Art Museum, and the Cyprus Railway Museum (Evrychou).
In addition, under the ‘Museums for All’ policy there are provisions for:
- The development of interactive applications in museums, at ancient monuments and archaeological sites so that the visitor can perceive and experience Cyprus’ rich history and culture through modern technology
- The development of an integrated branding and strategy for digital marketing
- Carrying out civil weddings at specific ancient monuments and in museums, under terms set by the department of antiquities, in exchange for the payment of specific fees. The implementation of this policy has been a long-standing request by the various tourism bodies, as they believe that it will act as a comparative advantage, upgrading the position of Cyprus as a quality wedding destination, in this way strengthening the implementation of the national tourism strategy
- Upgrading shops at museums, and other sites
- The creation of an eshop to better promote of the products of the Antiquities Department
- The provision of a contribution box
- The creation of a special section on the website of the Antiquities Department in order to allow for the online payment of contributions.
The above procedures will begin to be implemented within 2020, and aim toward promoting the archaeological treasures of Cyprus.