Greater availability and easier booking of visiting the Memorial thanks to personalized entry passes
The number of visitors to the Auschwitz Memorial in January 2020 is more than 10 per cent higher than in the corresponding record period in terms of attendance in 2019 - that is, over 113,000 visitors. In the period between April and October, we expect a monthly attendance of over 200,000 visitors. Thanks to the introduction of name cards for all visitors this year,
– We can already observe that our reservation system is not flooded with a huge number of bulk inquiries from travel agencies that had previously made reservations “in reserve". We can also notice that the availability of entry passes for individual visitors for guided tours in groups has increased significantly. They are no longer purchased or resold en masse contrary to the regulations – said Andrzej Kacorzyk, director of the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, who is also responsible for visitor service.
In 2019, more than 368,000 individual visitors took advantage of this form of visiting the Memorial. According to Andrzej Kacorzyk, there will be many more of visitors this year: - Given that the agencies cannot reserve visiting dates without providing names, the Museum will be able to organise more groups for individual visitors. The lack of bookings made for resale also makes it easier to book a guide for travel agencies and organised groups - Kacorzyk emphasises.
The main purpose of introducing named entry passes for all visitors is to eliminate the illegal trade in entry passes, practised by some companies transporting visitors to the Memorial.
– The period of the black market in the bulk purchase of entry passes - which mostly affected individual visitors - has come to an end. Reservations can no longer be resold, and mass bookings for this purpose prevented access to the system for companies that wanted to operate fairly. It is also no longer possible to buy entry passes for individuals to sell them later at a higher price. We have experienced bizarre cases where visitors were sold free entry passes downloaded from the website - said Museum Director, Piotr M. A. Cywiński, PhD.
–While there is no turning back on the personal entry pass system, we are constantly keeping tabs on the functioning of the online booking system. We also listen to constructive comments from several parties. The facilitation for travel agencies will certainly be the possibility of a slight modification of the list of names after completing the reservation, due to fortuitous occurrences - a maximum of 3 persons in a 30-person group – said Andrzej Kacorzyk.
In 2019, 2 million 320 thousand people from all over the world visited the sites of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camps Auschwitz and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. About 81 per cent of visitors explored the history of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau with one of the 340 Museum guides and educators providing guided tours in 21 languages.