3.5 million museum visits in 2016

Museums continue to be popular in Estonia. According to Statistics Estonia, there were 3.5 million museum visits in 2016, which is 6% more than the year before.

The share of foreign tourists visiting museums has remained at the same level in recent years. Foreign tourists accounted for 36% of all museum visits in 2016. The share of foreign tourists was the biggest in Harju county, reaching 49%. Estonian inhabitants made 2.2 million museum visits, which is approximately two visits per person.

As it is the Year of Children’s and Youth Culture, we took a closer look at younger age groups’ relationship to museums. Children under 9 years of age visited museums 277,000 times, which is 18% more than in 2015. The number of educational programs organised by museums has also been growing for years, and almost 450,000 young people under the age of 19 participated in these in 2016.

While in total special museums were visited the most, followed by art museums and archaeology and history museums with slightly smaller visitor numbers, the clear preference of museum visitors under 9 years of age was special museums, followed by natural history museums and science and technology museums.

According to the 2015 cultural participation survey, the presence of children in the household has a positive impact on museum visits. While 45% of all Estonian inhabitants had visited a museum at least once, among the households with at least one child up to 15 years of age, 55% had visited a museum, and among people living in households without children, 41% visited a museum in 2015.

There were 246 museums in Estonia in 2016 – one third belonged to the state, one third to local governments and one third were private museums. On average, museums were open 226 days a year. 1,988 people were employed in museums.

Last year, one of the biggest events in the museum field was certainly the opening of the new building of the Estonian National Museum. As the new exhibition building in Tartu was open to visitors only three months last year, the 2016 data do not yet show considerable growth in museum visits in Tartu county.

It has become a tradition that once a year as part of the European Night of Museums many museums are open longer than usual and free events are organised for a wider audience. This year, the Night of Museums will take place on Saturday, 20 May and fittingly for the Year of Children’s and Youth Culture this year’s theme is “Games in the Night”. See more at http://www.muuseumiöö.ee/en.Museum visits by type of museum, 2016

Source: Statistics Estonia

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