Again fewer visitors in Dutch museums

  • research

Dutch museums attracted 12.3 million visitors in 2021, more than two million fewer than a year earlier. This is a decline of 14 percent and compared to 2019, a 64 percent drop. The decline was strongest among foreign visitors.


In 2019, foreign guests still accounted for 10.3 million visitors, two years later this had dropped by more than 85 percent to 1.5 million. The number of domestic visitors fell to 10.8 million in 2021 compared to two years earlier, a decline of more than 54 percent.

Audience revenues declined to 98.9 million euros in 2021, down more than 60 percent from two years earlier. Museum store and hospitality revenues shrank by nearly half to about 50 million euros. Total direct revenues had halved to €219 million in 2021 compared to two years earlier. However, because total indirect revenues increased, total operating income remained at the same level. The main increase in indirect revenues came from coronasteun measures (€145.8 million in 2021). But revenues from private resources such as donations also increased to €156 million.

Total spending by museums was 1 billion euros in 2021, down 9 percent from two years earlier. In addition to savings in purchasing costs for retail and hospitality, museums also cut costs for exhibitions, marketing and communications and hiring staff. The number of salaried employees remained about the same as 2019.


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