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Where Do Museums Rank Amongst the Most Popular Visitor Attractions?

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Global travel attractions were valued at USD 254,6 billion in 2017, bringing the attention of over 14,8 billion people. Visitor attractions in China, USA, Japan, France, Germany, United Kingdom and Russia draw the most people each year, with nearly 11 billion visitors.

In celebration of International Museum Day, taking place on May 18th, use Euromonitor International’s visitor attraction rankings to find out if museums make it into the list of leading visitor attractions in these key markets.


Leading Visitor Attractions, 2017 (Number of Visitors, '000)

 China Great Wall 70,381.2
Guilin 63,553.3
Beijing Olympic Park 60,287.8
The Temple of Heaven 53,605.2
Hangzhou Song Danasty Theme Park 36,000.0
Shenzhen Overseas Chinese Town 33,664.8
Japan Tokyo Disney Resort 30,154.0
Universal Studio Japan 14,768.3
Nagashima Resort 5,948.0
Tokyo Sky Tree Observation Deck 5,662.1
Yokohama Hakkei Sea Paradise 3,942.2
Aso Farmland 3,940.5
Russia The State Peterhof Museum 5,010.0
The State Museum St Isaac's Cathedral 3,901.0
The State Hermitage Museum 3,700.0
The State Museum-Reserve Tsarskoe Selo 3,000.0
The Kazan Kremlin 2,850.0
The Moscow Kremlin 2,550.0
USA Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World 20,408.8
Disneyland 19,625.2
Blue Ridge Parkway 15,701.4
Golden Gate National Recreation Area 15,528.2
George Washington Memorial Parkway 11,252.4
Great Smoky Mountains National Park 11,172.9
France Disneyland Paris 13,389.0
Musee du Louvre 7,343.7
Tour Eiffel 6,104.0
Château de Versailles 5,189.0
Cité des Sciences de la Villette 3,714.0
Centre Pompidou 3,475.2
Germany Europa-Park Rust 5,678.9
Cologne Cathedral 5,033.6
Reichstag, Berlin 3,922.8
Drosselgasse Rüdesheim 3,295.8
Bonner Museumsmeile 2,362.6
Frauenkirche, Dresden 2,157.8
United Kingdom National Gallery 6,560.0
British Museum 6,259.9
Tate Modern 6,189.6
Blackpool Pleasure Beach 5,447.3
Natural History Museum 4,392.9
Somerset House 3,649.8


Embracing technology: bring in the Millennials

A key strategy to bring more traffic to museums has been to increase the appeal to Millennials. Those born between 1980 and 2000 are the fastest-growing demographic of travellers and therefore represent an increasingly lucrative market to attract. Furthermore, Millennials increasingly share values and characteristics across cultures, so, when targeted, museums can create a global appeal. Companies such as Lava Lab, based in Amsterdam, have sought to make museum experiences as interactive as possible with the use of apps, social media and virtual reality. Innovations for the Van Gogh Museum and Amsterdam Museum, such as sending push notifications to handheld devices when visitors walk past exhibits, has strengthened the allure to this tech-minded demographic.

The UK museum industry is viewed as a pioneer in embracing technology. Government-funded national museums such as The British Museum, V&A and Tate Galleries publish and incorporate digital strategies as an essential part of their operations. Wearable technologies such as Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift are increasingly used to create a more immersive experience and offer a greater connection with the exhibits.

Similarly, placing collections online and offering virtual tours have opened up the buildings and exhibits to a global audience, thereby increasing their appeal as a destination for travellers. This has been compounded by measures such as the relaxation of photography rules and the introduction of free Wi-Fi to allow visitors to share their experiences, whilst simultaneously marketing the museums.

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