Visit Britain statistics show 6% rise in English museum visits 10/9/2019

New statistics from VisitBritain show that visits to museums in England grew by 6% in 2018, reversing three years of declining numbers. The figures are based on data from 444 museums and galleries, plus hundreds of other attractions from places of worship to farms, heritage sites and zoos. They show that:

  • Overall, there were 4% more overseas visitors across all types of attractions. Those most likely to receive increases in overseas tourists were places of worship (9%), historic properties (8%) and museums and galleries (6%).
  • Local and day trip visitors were up by 3% for museums and galleries.
  • Family groups formed 29% of all visits to museums and galleries, and this group increased visits by 16% in 2018.
  • 184 museums and galleries in the survey charge admission, averaging £6.43 (up 4%). The average across all charging attractions was £8.82.
  • Use of digital communications across attractions has levelled off, with large majorities (89%) having some sort of digital presence. 84% of museums are now on Facebook and 63% on twitter – however only 44% use e-newsletters, compared to 64% of historic houses.
  • The North West region performed particularly strongly, growing visitors by 8% in the last year, driven by programming by national museums, including World Museum Liverpool’s Terracotta Warriors and IWM North’s WW1 centenary commemorations.

 VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe pointed to museums and galleries as the top driver of international visitors. She said “it’s not surprising to see our museums and galleries returning to the top spot, confirming England’s position as a cultural hub.” Arts Professional, Visit Britain (full report)