was an exciting year for our exhibitions and visitor services
teams, who successfully completed the first full year of
free entry for all.
In our 2002/03 financial year we welcomed nearly 2.9 million
people of all ages and backgrounds, an uplift of 74% on
2000/01, which was the last full year of entry charges.
Free admission has triggered a significant change in visitor
culture. People are tending to make shorter visits and are
spending less per head in our shops and cafés, but they
are more likely to make repeat visits. Our priorities are
to understand the needs of our visitors in this new environment;
to provide them with a rewarding experience together with
appropriate services and facilities; and to develop continuing
and valuable relationships with them.