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UK Museums: Surprise Fall in Overseas Visitors Numbers

Department for Culture, Media and Sport uk museums attendance study

A Government report shows that visitors to UK museums has fallen for the first time in almost a decade. The decline is attributed to visitors from overseas.

The study by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) looked at sponsored 15
museums (13 nationals, and 2 non-nationals) which provide free entry to their permanent
collections, including the British Museum, Tate, the V&A and Imperial War Museums.

In 2015/16 there were 47.6 million visits to DCMS-sponsored Museums – a
decline of 6.2 per cent on 2014/15.  The 2.8% decline is almost all attributable to a fall in visitors from overseas, despite an increase in tourists visiting the UK.  The British Museum bucked the overall trend reporting an increase of in visitors from overseas.  64% of the Museum’s visitors are international.

The British Museum was also the most visited, with 6.9 million visits, followed by the Tate Gallery Group with 6.7 million visits

There was a 14.4 per cent decrease in visits by children aged 15 and under, from 9.3 million in 2014/15 to 7.9 million in 2015/16.  The Science Museum Group and the Natural History Museum had the greatest number of child visits.

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Rachel Reed

Rachel Read

Rachel is Finance Director. She has a degree in engineering from Cambridge University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Deloittes in London. She worked in finance in industry for twenty years. She oversees our news and also manages our events.

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