Attractions industry news

09 Apr 2021

World's top 100 museums and galleries suffer 77 per cent fall in visits during pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in visits to the world's top 100 museums and galleries falling by three quarters.

According to an annual survey, conducted by The Art Newspaper, visits to leading museums fell by 77 per cent last year – down from 230 million in 2019 to just 54 million.

According to figures from the survey, The Louvre in Paris, France, was the world’s most visited museum during 2020, attracting 2.7m visits during the year – down 72 per cent from 2019.

Beijing’s National Museum of China was the second most popular museum with 1.6 million visitors, followed by Tate Modern in London, UK, where visitor numbers were down by 77 per cent to 1.4m.

In a statement earlier this year, Tate said it had been forced to close its doors for 173 days during 2020, resulting in an estimated £56m worth of lost revenue.

The report's findings almost mirror figures published by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) in the UK, which show that The UK's major visitor attractions experienced a 70 per cent fall in visits during 2020 (45.4 million visits during 2020, down from 151.3 million in 2019).

The falls in European museums and galleries is largely down to the disruption to international travel.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Paris received just 5 per cent of its normal level of inbound tourists during the peak summer months.

The drought of international tourists doesn't look like easing any time soon, with the latest figures from UWTO showing that tourist arrivals were down 87 per cent during January 2021.

To read the full The Art Newspaper survey, click here.

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