Museum visits in Estonia down in 2015 ({{commentsTotal}})

Visitors at the
Visitors at the "People, Houses, Streets" exhibit at Pärnu Museum. April 29, 2016. Source: (Urmas Luik/Pärnu Postimees)

Museums in Estonia were visited a total of 3.6 million times in 2015, a six percent decrease from the year before. Numbers may improve again, however, once the Estonian National Museum opens in its new location on October 1 after being closed to visitors since July 2015.

Last year, a total of 498,770 people visited Estonian museums, which meant an average of just over 7 museum visits per person, reported Statistics Estonia.

Museum visits in Estonia totaled 2,752 per 1,000 residents, and according to data, despite the overall drop in visits, Estonians are among the most active visitors of museums in Europe.

56 percent of museum visitors were women, and the most frequently represented age group was 30-39 years old. Foreign tourists made up 32 percent of overall visitors, and the most frequently cited purpose for museum visits was self-education.

The total number of museums in Estonia, 256, has remained unchanged since 2013. The number of exhibitions, however, decreased from 1,818 in 2014 to 1,784 in 2015.

The country’s museums had a total of 1,733 employees in 2015, which was 134 fewer than in 2014. The year saw nearly 3,900 people volunteer in the museum field, however, and despite the decrease in total employees, 19 percent more research articles were published in museums in 2015 than in the year prior.

Visitor totals look to improve in 2016

Estonia will be hosting its eighth annual Night of Museums on Saturday, during which museums across the country will offer free admission, special programs and extended hours in an effort to encourage people to visit. According to the event’s website, more than 110,000 people participated in the Night of Museums last year, which was an all-time attendance record for the event.

This year, more than 185 museums, archives, churches, manors, lighthouses and nature centers will be participating in the program, whose theme this year is “Waves in the Night.”

The Estonian National Museum (ERM), which has been closed to visitors since July 2015, is also scheduled to open in its new location in the northeastern Tartu neighborhood of Raadi on October 1.

Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik