Figures from national museums show beginnings of long climb back to pre-pandemic visitors 3 Mar 2022

DCMS has published figures for visitors to the museums and galleries that it sponsors through the last quarter of 2021. These reveal the beginnings of a recovery in visitor figures, but show that it will be a long climb back to pre-pandemic numbers.

  • Figures across all venues were 1.54m in September 2021, rising to 2.04m in October, and then dipping again in November (1.6m) and December (1.3m) as the omicron variant took hold.
  • These are much better figures than the autumn of the previous year, when there was a peak of 0.8m in October 2020, falling to 0.26m in December 2020.
  • However, there is still a considerable way to go before DCMS sponsored museums recover to early 2019 figures – which ranged from 3.48m in January 2019 and 4.29m in March 2019.
  • NB: these figures exclude the Museum of the Home until June 2021, and NPG from March 2020 onwards, as both were shut for refurbishment work during those periods.
  • For comparison, the Association of Danish Museums reports that in 2021, its visitor numbers had declined by 40% compared with 2019., Scattered Clouds (tourism sector data graph), NEMO (Danish museums)