Tate Modern overtakes BM

By | Category: Travel news

For many years the British Museum has been the top visitor attraction in the UK. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that it is in London which is the largest centre of population in the UK and, secondly, London is where most overseas tourists visit. It is also free to visit.

Tate Modern – overtakes the British Museum in attracting more visitors

But those reasons might also apply to any free attraction in London. And in 2018, Tate Modern on the South Bank managed to usurp the BM as the most visited attraction in the UK.

The most visited attraction in the UK was Tate Modern with 5,868,562 visits. The increase of 3.7% is thought to be a combination of the draw of the new extension, which is still attracting a lot of attention, but also the two blockbuster exhibitions The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy and Modigliani. The British Museum saw a slight decrease (1.3%) to 5,828,552 visits – however an additional 9 million UK visitors saw British Museum objects outside of London in 2018 through major touring exhibitions.

 The figures come from ALVA – Association of Leading Visitor Attractions – and cover just their members but there are few non-members who are anywhere as appealing to visitors as their members.

Overall, there was an average increase of 8.68% on 2017 visits to UK attractions, while attractions in Scotland saw the biggest increase of 19.07%.

In all, 138, 823, 297 visits were made to the top 249 ALVA sites in the UK.  67, 640, 804 people – nearly the equivalent of the total population of the UK – visited attractions in London, seeing a 3.37% increase.

The National Gallery remained in 3rd place with 5,735,831 visits, (up 9.7%) and the Natural History Museum saw an 18% increase in visits to 5,226,320 and remained in 4th place. Following the re-opening of Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room after over two years of renovations, Southbank Centre welcomed 4,451,934 visits and saw a 31.73% increase – moving it into 5th place.

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