British Museum visitor numbers

The British Museum has announced a record rise in visitor numbers, up 42% in May compared with the previous year. The BM is the most visited attraction in Britain with 5.57m visitors in 2012. The free-to-enter museum is on the itinerary of one in four overseas visitors to London.

My recent experience is that the BM is uncomfortably crowded, even for special exhibitions with paid and timed ticketing. We may not be far from the point where the demand exceeds capacity of this and other key London attractions, which in turn may slow the growth of overseas visitors to London. This is relevant for future projections of the demand for air travel and for airport capacity in southeast Britain.

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