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We love Museums!

Yes, its official – the results of CAMD’s most recent (2012-13) survey of its members confirms the fact that Australians and New Zealanders love their museums and continue to flock to them in ever increasing numbers.

The survey, which is carried out annually, found that in 2012-13:

  • more than 15.5 million visits* were made to the major museums in CAMD (up 3.8% from the previous year)
  • another 1m people were reached across Australia and New Zealand by travelling museum programs and events
  • over 1.6m students took part in formal museum education programs; and
  • more than 5m domestic tourists and 2.3m overseas tourists visited the major museums.

Drawing on past survey results, it is staggering to find that CAMD museums quietly recorded over 74m visits in total over the last five years.  While Australians and New Zealanders profess a great affection for sport and the great outdoors, it is clear that they also enjoy  a visit to their nearest major museum for an overseas blockbuster or to enjoy exhibitions and events which highlight their own national stories.

These figures are even more impressive given the relatively modest size of potential audiences in the Australasian region. To provide some striking points of comparison, in 2012-13:

  • Museum Victoria had over 2.3m visitors to its institutions – a level which exceeded visits to the National Portrait Gallery London (2m), the National Museums Scotland (1.8m), Tate Gallery (1.8m) and St Paul’s Cathedral in the same period
  • Queensland Museum and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa recorded 1.4 million and 1.3 million visits respectively which exceeded those to Edinburgh Castle (1.2m), the Royal Academy of Arts (1.2m) and the National Maritime Museum, London (1.1m)
  •  meanwhile, visits to one of CAMD’s Melbourne members, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, were 1.2m in 2012-13 making it the most visited moving image centre in the world.

So, the next time you have a free afternoon and are looking for a stimulating time, go with the flow and visit a museum.


* Visit numbers were based on data provided by CAMD’s 22 museums (which cover over 65 museum sites) in response to the annual survey.  Visit numbers are based on admission receipts/tickets and results from electronic counters, and in some cases manual counts, taken of visitors through the door.