Skip to main content

Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibitions Create $742m Economic Impact for New York


Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibitions Create $742m Economic Impact for New York

An economic impact survey conducted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Market Research/Marketing & External Relations Department estimates that three of the museum’s exhibitions in 2013 generated an estimated $742 million in spending by regional, national, and international tourists to New York.

In the spring/summer 2013 survey period visitor numbers for the three exhibitions were:

  • Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity – 440, 973 visitors
  • Punk: Chaos to Couture – 442, 350 visitors 
  • The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi  (still running) – 259, 858 visitors 

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum, said, “It is particularly gratifying to see that visitors from around the globe continue to respond enthusiastically to the Met’s diverse exhibitions and renowned permanent collection. A visit to the Met was cited repeatedly—by more than half of the out-of-town visitors in our survey—as a key reason for deciding to travel to New York.”

Emily K. Rafferty, President of the Metropolitan Museum—who also serves as chair of NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism agency—said, “Tourism—both domestic and international—is vital to New York’s economic health. The Metropolitan Museum is the most-visited cultural attraction in the City. We are proud of this strong record of attracting visitors from beyond the five boroughs, and of the Met’s clear impact on the economy.”

Further findings of the survey were:

  • 1.7 million or 77% of the Museum’s visitors traveled from outside the five boroughs of New York. Of these travelers, 21% were from the Tri-State area, 31% were from other states, and 48% were international visitors. 
  • 78% of travelers reported staying overnight in the City and, of these, three-quarters stayed in a hotel, hostel, or rented apartment. The average length of stay was 6.6 days. 
  • These out-of-town visitors reported spending an average of $1, 139 per person ($773 for lodging, sightseeing, entertainment, admission to museums, and local transportation, and another $366 for shopping). 
  • Overall spending per person was 3% lower than in 2012, primarily due to a decline in shopping. The amount reported for lodging and other expenses is virtually unchanged from 2012.
  • 54% of travelers cited visiting the Met as a key motivating factor in visiting New York. 
  • Using a scale of one to ten, 26% of visitors responded with a rating of 8 or above when asked how important seeing one of the three exhibitions was in motivating them to visit New York, and 54% gave a rating of 8 or above with regard to the Met in general. 
  • The primary purpose of traveling to New York was pleasure for 84% of visitors, business for 4%, and combined business and pleasure for 12%.
  • The full-year estimate of visitor spending in New York by out-of-town visitors to the Museum in fiscal year 2013 is $5.4 billion.

Image: D.I.Y.: Graffiti & Agitprop, © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

More from this author

Related content

Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Find out how to update