Thanks to penguins, Mumbai zoo’s revenue increased 12 times
Even though the number of visitors decreased by half, the revenue collection went upmumbai Updated: Jan 19, 2018 10:53 IST
The seven Humboldt Penguins brought to Byculla zoo from South Korea increased revenue 12-fold in the second half of 2017. After authorities hiked the entry fee in August 2017, the zoo now makes up to Rs70 lakh a month, equivalent to its annual income before the fee hike.
After the penguins were put up for public display in March, civic officials noticed large crowds thronging the zoo. In August, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) hiked the zoo's entry fee from Rs5 an adult and Rs 2 a child, to Rs50 an adult and Rs100 for a family of two adults and two children.
And even though the number of visitors decreased by half, its revenue collection went up by more than Rs1 lakh on a weekday, and almost twice as much on the weekend. Dr Sanjay Tripathi, director of Byculla Zoo, said, "The zoo now earns more than Rs70 lakh a month. This was our annual revenue before the fee hike. The fee was hiked mid-year in 2017, so the first seven months we charged the old nominal fee, so it is difficult to calculate the increase in annual revenue yet. But our monthly income has increased 12 times.”
Many citizens also avail the monthly pass at Rs150 to take morning walks at the zoo, which would earlier cost Rs30.
However, Hutokshi Rustomfram, trustee of the Save Ranibaug Botanical Garden Foundation, said, "It is not surprising that the revenue has shot up, considering a 10-fold fee hike. But the number of visitors to the park has drastically reduced, which defeats the purpose of a public open space. We must also look at how much money is spent on the penguins. It has now become too expensive for a common man to visit this public open space for leisure.”