Table of Contents
Conduct of the inquiry
Limits of the inquiry
Structure of the report
Treatment of museums, art galleries and national parks
Treatment of libraries and archives
Defining heritage: `things we want to keep'
Things may have multiple values and uses
All forms of heritage conservation are part of a single endeavour
Why conserve heritage?
Heritage conservation is not about current utility or commercial value
Priority must go to fundamental conservation goals
The right of access to heritage
User charges in museums, galleries and national parks: the status quo
User charges in national parks
User charges in museums and art galleries
The `trend' to user pays
Overview of submissions
Much heritage is in private hands
Poorer people can't access as much as better off people
Some other constraints on access
Handicaps of people with disabilities
Isolation of country people
Socio-economic status and cultural expectations
Restricting access for the sake of conservation; `access by proxy'
Conflict between different types of access
Special issues for indigenous people and indigenous heritage
Comment: rights in principle versus opportunities in practice
`Entry to public property should be free of charge'
`... and anyway, we've already paid for it through our taxes'....
`... and anyway, we're all users...'
`Unfair to charge some but not others'
`Unfair impost on local residents'
...versus `it is reasonable to charge for private benefits'
Theory: museums, galleries and national parks as `public goods'
`Public goods' does not mean the same as `community benefits'
Types of benefits from public goods
Are cultural goods different from day-to-day goods?
Are we citizens or customers?
`Fees discourage potential visitors'
This depends on case by case facts about elasticity of demand
Theory: willingness to pay, consumer surplus & elasticity of demand
Estimating willingness to pay
Possible different attitudes to different types of expense
The `deadweight loss' from charging for non-rival public goods
Principle of marginal cost pricing of public goods
Problem of defining `marginal' costs
Marginal cost pricing versus `charge for private benefits'
Charging for private benefits: a hypothetical case
Evidence on elasticity of demand
Elasticity of demand for national parks
Elasticity of demand for museums/galleries
`Price signals promote efficient allocation of resources'
Allocation of resources between sectors of the economy
Allocation of resources within the institution
Comparison of museums/galleries and subsidised performing arts
`Entry fees may be better than reduced services'
Conclusions on economic efficiency arguments
`Free entry is a subsidy by poorer nongoing taxpayers to richer goers'
Socio-economic profile of visitors to museums and galleries
Socio-economic profile of visitors to national parks
Is it `unfair' for poorer nongoers to subsidise richer goers?
...versus `fees disproportionately discourage poorer people'
Elasticity of demand for museums/galleries by socio-economic profile
Elasticity of demand for national parks by socio-economic profile
Comparison of museums/galleries and national parks
Are entry fees a wise response to any perceived inequity?
...in national parks
...in museums and art galleries
`Basic access' versus `value-added services'
in libraries, museums and galleries
in national parks
Is new computer technology `basic' or `value-added'?
Risk of `user pays by stealth' with new technology
Principles for charging for value-added services
Marginal cost pricing of value-added services
Marginal cost pricing versus surcharge to subsidise fixed costs
Marginal cost pricing versus surcharge for investment or profit
`User pays can fund better management'
...versus `user pays allows governments to reduce central funding'
Can `hypothecation' of funds reduce this risk?
`Reliance on user pays diverts attention from core charters'
`...and creates pressure for overdevelopment' (national parks)
`...and may change the place's focus undesirably' (museums/galleries)
Making museums/galleries more `commercial'
Comment on the risk of diverting from core charters
Effects of `user pays' on volunteerism and sponsorship
Should user charges revenue be retained locally?
Is there a need for standardisation of user charges?
Policies for tourist operators versus private visitors
Consultation and timing of new regimes
Details of user charges schemes
Where the cost of collecting fees is excessive
Rationing fragile areas by price or permit
Conclusions on museums and art galleries
Conclusions on national parks
The report uses `museum' to include `art gallery' (except where a distinction
between them is discussed, which should be obvious from the context),
and `national park' to include all protected areas, whatever their official
names, that are managed for nature conservation and public recreation.