The UK’s major museums and art galleries generated over £1bn in revenue from overseas visitors in 2009, VisitBritain, the national tourist authority released the figures yesterday with optimistic predictions for the future. With 30 million visits last year to the UK, over a third included a trip to a leading cultural institution. The report by Visit Britain, has now released figures and they give an accurate country-by-country breakdown.
VISITORS TO THE UK’S GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS BY COUNTRY
* United States – 1.52m visits
* France – 1.42m visits
* Germany – 1.13m visits
* Spain – 0.92m visits
* Italy – 0.69m visits
* Source: VisitBritain
Visitor numbers at Tate Modern and the British Museum were down on 2008 but According to the report The National Gallery is one of the capital’s most popular draws with visits to the National Gallery up by 9%.
The period between July and September is the most popular time to visit museums and galleries, which see a dip in visitors between January and March.
The data derives from a VisitBritain-sponsored question on the International Passenger Survey, carried out by the Office for National Statistics. This is yet another service, no doubt, under threat by the new Lib-Con Government.
“This survey showcases the international appeal of Britain’s culture and heritage,” said Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain.
“We are fortunate in the authenticity of what we have to promote and the connections that our rich culture makes across the world.”
VisitBritain works with the government, the tourism industry and various strategic partners to promote Britain in 35 key overseas markets.
The non-departmental public body receives funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It will be interesting to see what plans, if any the Government has to restructure this important service.