Sunday, October 13, 2013

Seems to me it's a lose-lose situation

Léon's 8th birthday by PhylB
Léon's 8th birthday, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.

I've complained before, and no doubt I will again but I really don't understand the business model of charging kids separately to get into specific attractions. I know I can go and see a castle as Historic Scotland recognizes a family as being a parent with kids but here are just a few examples of places that charge entrance per child: Glasgow Science Centre, Blair Drummond Safari Park and the Scottish Owl Centre. My kids have expressed an interest in going to all of these and they are all off school at the moment but here's the thing. Whether you have one kid or five you still only have the same two incomes to pay for entertainment, your mortgage and everything else. In fact your mortgage is likely to be significantly bigger because more kids need more rooms. So what makes them think we have more disposable income for entertainment? I can see the rationale behind thinking I shouldn't be subsidized but the thing is that I simply cannot afford these prices for a single day's entertainment. I therefore do not go so I lose out, and my kids also lose out but they do too. If there was a family ticket I could use, I would pay and once inside I'd potentially buy things, perhaps coffees, perhaps lunches. I might buy the kids a toy on the way out so they would end up getting money out of me. This way we lose out and they do too. It seems crazy to me.

2 comments:

Rob Scovell said...

I have no theoretical problem with people with large families being subsidised -- parents are doing the hard work of growing the next generation, after all.

A sensible model (IMHO) would be for kids to be free, with a higher adult entrance fee to compensate.

Alternatively, very low cost entry subsidised by an enlarged gift shop and cafe selling more stuff, similar to the cheap flight model where the airport retailers subsidise flights because the cheap flights mean more passengers go through their doors.

That way, people with enough money to spend on gift shop crap subsidise the rest.

Phyl said...

It isn't really a question of subsidy - if kids have entrance charges I can't go in so they get no money out of me instead of a reasonable charge. The other issue is that when you have many kids spanning a large age gap there is rarely somewhere they all want to be. Last year I was in Paris and decided not to go into EuroDisney not only because the 2 biggies were 90 Euros each (and the little ones about 50) but the biggies were only coming along to keep the wee ones company - they didn't even really want to go! I generally restict my outings to places that charge a reasonable adult entrance with no kids' charges.