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Visitors line up to see Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Visitors line up to see "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

$900 MIL FROM MET TOURISM

Sept. 13, 2011

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Culture is valued for its own sake, of course, but museums have long had to demonstrate their economic importance as well. Thus, the latest economic impact survey from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which shows that its four summer exhibitions helped generate $908 million in economic impact for New York City. While that number represents the overall spending by tourists who visited the museum, the Met estimates that its direct tax benefit to the city is about $90.8 million. Plus, more than half of respondents said that the Met was the main reason for their visit to the city.

Sixty-eight percent of visitors came from outside of New York City and saw at least one of the four main Met exhibitions of the summer, “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (661,509 visitors);Anthony Caro on the Roof(306,542);Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective (183,553); and Rooms with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century (194,398).

The findings showed that 20 percent of tourists were from the tri-state area, 38 percent were from other states and 42 percent came from other countries. The average visitor spends $927 per person during their stay, which is usually about five days.

"As the results of this audience survey suggest, special exhibitions have the power to draw new visitors to the Museum,” said Met director Thomas P. Campbell in a statement. “Through our commitment to a robust program of new offerings in the coming years, we hope to continue to attract new audiences to the museum and thereby to the city and the state.”


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