Families will pay pounds 57 for day at Dome

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The Independent Online
TICKET PRICES for the Millennium Dome were finally revealed yesterday, with discounts offered for families to soften the pounds 20 admission charge. A family of five will be asked to pay pounds 57, the equivalent of pounds 11.50 a head, with children under five being admitted for free. Children aged five to 15 and students will be charged pounds 16.50, senior citizens pounds 18 and the unemployed pounds 12.

For college visits, the cost is pounds 14.50 each and pounds 8 for school pupils. Educational tours for those between eight and 16 are free. There are other group discounts for adults and senior citizens - with the full price for an adult set at pounds 20.

The pricing of tickets for the pounds 758m Dome, in Greenwich, south London, has been a controversial issue with critics claiming that it would be prohibitive. The New Millennium Experience Company, which is running the Dome, said that it carried out extensive market research before deciding on the pricing levels.

The Dome will open to the public on 1 January 2000 and 12 million people are expected to visit it during the year.

The NMEC said yesterday that its prices compared wellwith both the Chessington World of Adventure and Alton Towers (which charges pounds 19 for an adult, pounds 15.50 for a child and pounds 59 for a family of four).

The tariff has been announced six months ahead of the tickets going on sale (on 22 September) to allow tour operators to finalise their prices. The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, announced on Wednesday that up to one million schoochildren will be admitted to the Dome for free as part of the Education Tours Scheme.

Tickets for the Dome will be sold through National Lottery outlets, bus and coach companies, package operators and through a national call centre. National Express are proposing to offer return coach journeys and admission to the Dome for pounds 29.99 each from anywhere in England, Scotland or Wales.

Jennie Page, the chief executive of NMEC, said: "We have deliberately structured ticket prices to favour group visits, so that the biggest discounts are offered to people coming with friends and family."

The pounds 57 family price applies to parties of two adults and three children or one adult and four children. Groups can be family or friends.

How The Cost Compares

The family group prices for the Dome compared with other major tourist attraction:

Millennium Dome pounds 57 (for five people)

Chessington World pounds 59 (for four people)

of Adventures, Surrey

Alton Towers, Staffordshire pounds 59 (for four people)

Thorpe Park, Surrey pounds 56 (for four people)

Museum of the Moving Image, pounds 17 (for four people)

London

Hannover 2000 Expo, Germany pounds 68 (for four people)

Single adult prices compared with other tourist attractions:

Millennium Dome pounds 20

Alton Towers pounds 19.50

Tower of London pounds 10.50

Natural History Museum pounds 6.

Madame Tussaud' pounds 10.

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