Where Do Museums Rank Amongst the Most Popular Visitor Attractions?

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)

 ChinaGreat Wall70,381.2
Beijing Olympic Park60,287.8
The Temple of Heaven53,605.2
Hangzhou Song Danasty Theme Park36,000.0
Shenzhen Overseas Chinese Town33,664.8
JapanTokyo Disney Resort30,154.0
Universal Studio Japan14,768.3
Nagashima Resort5,948.0
Tokyo Sky Tree Observation Deck5,662.1
Yokohama Hakkei Sea Paradise3,942.2
Aso Farmland3,940.5
RussiaThe State Peterhof Museum5,010.0
The State Museum St Isaac’s Cathedral3,901.0
The State Hermitage Museum3,700.0
The State Museum-Reserve Tsarskoe Selo3,000.0
The Kazan Kremlin2,850.0
The Moscow Kremlin2,550.0
USAMagic Kingdom at Walt Disney World20,408.8
Blue Ridge Parkway15,701.4
Golden Gate National Recreation Area15,528.2
George Washington Memorial Parkway11,252.4
Great Smoky Mountains National Park11,172.9
FranceDisneyland Paris13,389.0
Musee du Louvre7,343.7
Tour Eiffel6,104.0
Château de Versailles5,189.0
Cité des Sciences de la Villette3,714.0
Centre Pompidou3,475.2
GermanyEuropa-Park Rust5,678.9
Cologne Cathedral5,033.6
Reichstag, Berlin3,922.8
Drosselgasse Rüdesheim3,295.8
Bonner Museumsmeile2,362.6
Frauenkirche, Dresden2,157.8
United KingdomNational Gallery6,560.0
British Museum6,259.9
Tate Modern6,189.6
Blackpool Pleasure Beach5,447.3
Natural History Museum4,392.9
Somerset House3,649.8


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.