SUCCESS STORY: The Met has seen eight years of tourism growth

THE famed Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York pulled in a record 7.35 million visitors in the last financial year, the institution announced last Thursday (5), four months after intro­ducing mandatory out-of-town admis­sion charges. The attendance figures for the fiscal year ending June 30 covered the cultural landmark’s Fifth Avenue headquarters, the Met Cloisters in northern Manhat­tan and the Met Breuer dedicated to modern and contemporary art. The Met said it was the highest fis­cal-year attendance in the museum’s recorded history, attributing it in large part to a Michelangelo exhibition vis­ited by 702,516 people from Novem­ber 2017 to February 2018. The Met is the most visited attrac­tion in the US financial and entertain­ment capital, which has seen eight consecutive years of tourism growth. As of March 1, museum visitors have to pay $25 (£19) if they live out­side the state of New York, replacing the previous practice of a “suggested” donation. Students and seniors visit­ing from other regions pay reduced fares of $12 (£9) and $17 (£13), respec­tively. Entry remains free for children under the age of 12. In March, New York mayor Bill de Blasio said 2017 was the eighth con­secutive year for record-breaking tourism, with around 62.8 million visi­tors, an increase of 2.3 million com­pared to 2016. New York hosted 49.7 million do­mestic and 13.1 million international visitors last year, both all-time highs, the city announced.