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Friday, July 07, 2006

Record Year: Australian National Maritime Museum

Yahoo news reports that the Australian National Maritime Museum "has had its most successful year ever in the 12 months to June 30," and that "a total 464,188 people passed through the doors, eclipsing by more than 4200 the museum's previous best in the Olympic Games year 2000-01."

In November of 2003 the Musem dropped its general admission charges, giving free access to its permanent exhibitions and special temporary exhibitions, no doubt increasing attendance figures. At the same time the Museum still charges admission to see its ships - the destroyer HMAS Vampire, submarine HMAS Onslow and the Endeavour replica.

No income figures are available (as far as this blogger was able to determine), but it sure would be interesting to see how this method effected revenue. One would think that food, and trinket sales would most certainly have increased with the increased visitation. How cool would it be if these surpassed previous admission fees!


Marifrances said...

Now, this is very interesting. During last April's American Association of Museums conference, there was an entire session devoted to the topic of admission. Lo and behold, when certain museums RAISED their admission fees, attendance DROPPED. I'd like to see AMNM's financials for last year as well.

Marifrances said...

Coincidentally, National Public Radio's "Marketplace" aired a segment on this very topic today. According to their report, the USS CONSTITUTION Museum "could not get people to pay $4.00" to visit, yet when they offered free admission, they had long lines of visitors. Wonder if this is accurate?

Kelly said...

That is an interesting Marketplace story. For anyone who missed it you can read the transcript at here

Also I recently visited the Art Institute of Chicago which holds some impressive pieces of American art. They 'suggest' a donation of $12.00 instead of admission. Thought that was an interesting variation.