Finnish museums experience all-time record with more than 8.7 million visits

© National Gallery of Ireland, Image: Fennell Photography

© National Gallery of Ireland, Image: Fennell Photography

According to preliminary data collected by the Finnish Heritage Agency, museums in Finland had a total of 8,734,198 visits in 2023. Compared to 2022, museum visits increased by 1.9 million, with up to 76.5 percent of museums reporting an increase in visits.

The 2023 number breaks the previous visit record from 2019 by 1.1 million visits. The statistics is gathered from 152 museums that maintain 326 museum sites. On average, 28,084 visits to museum sites were recorded. The increase can be seen across almost all regions of Finland.

Tiina Merisalo, Director General of the Finnish Heritage Agency: "The skyrocketing visitation record of museums is great news, which tells about the high-quality content of museums and the public's interest, as well as the change in visitors' consumption of museums."

Merisalo also sees the importance of museums as much broader: "However, visitor numbers alone do not tell everything about the work of museums: they are socially influential actors who do very versatile, wide-ranging work with cultural heritage and art, promoting culture, the well-being of individuals and society, and crisis resilience."

Museum visits have increased by more than 60 percent in ten years

The number of visits to museums started to increase in 2016. The growth peaked in 2019, when there were 7.6 million visits. Growth stalled in the corona years 2020 and 2021, when the restrictions collapsed the number of visits to museums to less than 4.5 million. When the corona subsides in 2022, the number of visitors started to show a sharp increase.

In particular, the growth in the number of paying customers has been remarkable, as in 2023 almost 59 percent of museum visits were paid. In addition to those who bought an admission ticket, visits made with a Museum Card are counted as paid visits. The Finnish Heritage Agency writes that the launch of the Museum Card in 2015 can be considered a significant factor in the growth of museum visits.

The statistics on 2023 visitor numbers are preliminary, and the final statistical data for 2023 will be published in June 2024. The preliminary data can be reviewed in an Excel file, which can be found on the web service (in Finnish).