English museums see 4% rise in visits - Museums Association

English museums see 4% rise in visits

VisitEngland survey also shows rise in digital communications
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Rebecca Atkinson
English museums and art galleries saw visits increase by 4% in 2013, up from 2% in the previous year.

VisitEngland’s Annual Attractions Survey also found visits to historic properties increased by 10% while visitor and heritage centres saw visits increase by 6%. 

The survey looks at attractions ranging from theme parks to places of worship and country parks. Taking all attractions into account, there was a 5% increase in visits, with London seeing the largest increase (8%), followed by the North East (6%) and East Midlands (5%). But a fall in the number of visits to museums and art galleries in the North West saw total visits to attractions fall in that region by 2%.

The survey also found that the number of attractions offering digital communications other than a website increased from 67% in 2012 to 77% in 2013.

Of the museum and art galleries that took part in the research, only 8% had a mobile app while just 6% had a mobile version of their website. Use of social media was stronger, with 66% having a Facebook account, 55% using Twitter and 20% on YouTube. 

James Berresford, chief executive of VisitEngland, said: “With a 5% increase in both visitor numbers and gross revenue for 2013, our attractions continue to contribute greatly to the visitor economy and show enormous potential for future growth. It’s clear that investment into the sector is key and the benefits are evident in the results for attractions continuously investing in both marketing and digital platforms.”

The four most visited free attractions across the country were all London museums – the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum and Tate Modern.

Outside of London, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, the National Railway Museum in York and the Museum of Liverpool all made the list of 20 most visited free attractions in their regions. The Tower of London in London was the most visited paid attraction in 2013.

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