News / Miscellaneous

Visitor figures are up for Tate Modern and Kew Gardens, but down for the V&A and Tate Britain


Tate Modern

An annual report on the UK’s most visited cultural destinations shows that visitor figures for the Tate Modern and Kew Gardens increased significantly in 2016, while other institutions such as the V&A and Tate Britain didn’t fare so well.

The report by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) shows the British Museum continues to be the most visited attraction in the UK, with the National Gallery second and the Tate Modern third. Tate Modern saw an increase in visitors of almost 24%, following a 20% drop in 2015, which follows the opening of the Switch House extension.

Kew Gardens saw an 18.6% rise in visitors, which was largely influenced by the installation of Wolfgang Buttress’ The Hive, an immersive pavilion originally created for the World Expo in Milan.

The Royal Academy also had a 17% increase thanks to exhibitions such as its Summer Exhibition, which attracted nearly 300,000 people.

The V&A however saw a 12% drop in visitor numbers, and the Tate Britain saw a decrease of nearly 16%, though ALVA predicts 2017 could swing the other direction with the gallery’s already hugely popular current David Hockney show.

Overall the report showed a 7.2% national increase in visitors to cultural institutions, with all top ten most attended attractions in 2016 based in London. Nearly 67 million people – more than the population of the UK – visited the London destinations last year. Outside London, Scotland had the greatest increase of 15%.


Wolfgang Buttress: The Hive; courtesy of UKTI, Crown Copyright


Royal Academy: Summer Exhibition 2016