Attractions industry news

21 Mar 2019

The V&A effect: Dundee attractions enjoy a boost after new museum opens

Having Scotland’s first museum of design in their neighbourhood is helping a number of other Dundee attractions to boost their visitor numbers, according to new research.

The V&A Dundee opened in September 2018, and welcomed more than 340,000 people in its first three months. However, the benefits are being shared around, it seems. Nearby Discovery Point – site of the Antarctic-exploring RSS Discovery ship and museum – saw its visitor numbers increase by 40 per cent in 2018. Dundee’s McManus Art Gallery & Museum also saw a big bump in visitors: a 31 per cent increase.

The statistics come from the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism at the Glasgow Caledonian University, which has analysed the performance of 680 paid and free tourist sites around Scotland.

“There is no doubt visitors are seeing more of the country and the benefits of tourism are being spread across Scotland,” said Professor John Lennon, director of the Moffat Centre. “There has been a lot of interest in the V&A but that interest has spread out and has had an impact on nearby attractions, like Discovery Point, the McManus Art Gallery and the Botanic Gardens.”

Overall, the research found that visits to Scottish tourist attractions fell a little in 2018, the 61.4m visits being a drop of 0.5 per cent on 2017. The Moffat Centre said this was largely due to record-breaking temperatures over the summer months, affecting attendance to indoor attractions.

Illustrating this aspect, it said that visitor numbers to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Riverside Museum – both indoor attractions in Glasgow – fell by 19.1 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively. However, Stirling and Urquhart Castles both had more visitors in 2018, while there was growth in Loch Ness cruises.

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