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Visitor Attraction Monitor Report

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Discover the latest data on visits to Scotland’s attractions, with a specific focus on our museums and galleries. The Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development compiles the annual Visitor Attraction Monitor (VAM) report, which is the definitive source of 2014 visitor attendance figures.

The 2014 report is based on the 696 responses to a survey sent to the 855 visitor attractions known to be operating in Scotland in 2014. Museums and galleries accounted for 460 of this total number of attractions and 323 of the survey responses.

The report provides actual figures given by the respondents and also extrapolates from this data to give estimates for the sector as a whole.

Scotland’s museums and galleries received an estimated 27.65 million visits in 2014, which suggests a 13.2% increase in visitor attendance on 2012. But this is in part because more museums and galleries were included in the 2014 sample than in the 2012 sample (460 venues compared to 437).


  • Estimated number of visits to free museums and galleries in 2014 was almost three times that for paid museums and galleries
  • Actual visitor museum and gallery numbers given totalled 77,320 visits for 2014 – with July and August the peak months
  • Direct revenue income in 2014 was estimated at more than £40 million for paid entry museums and more than £29 million for free museums
  • The indirect impact of Scotland’s museums and galleries on local economies was estimated at £39.79 million in 2014
  • Scottish museums and galleries were estimated to have an induced impact of £890.88 million in 2014
  • Total tourism related employment for museums and galleries was estimated at 3,552 paid staff and 4,667 unpaid volunteers
  • Museums and galleries reported that 78.3% of visits were made by adults and 21.7% by children
  • Extrapolating from the data, an estimated 21.6 million visits were made by adults and 6 million by children to museums and galleries in 2014
  • Estimated number of school visits to all 460 Scottish museums and galleries was around 633,000 in 2014
  • Most visitors were local (32.7%), with the rest from elsewhere in Scotland (29.1%), elsewhere in the UK (21.5%) and overseas (16.7%)
  • Calculations suggest 14 million domestic tourism visits and around 4.6 million overseas visits across the sector in 2014
  • Of 323 museums and galleries to respond, 42.7% had paid admission in 2014, compared to 51.4% of VAM attractions that responded
  • 134 museums and galleries gave commercial revenue trends for 2014 – the average increase was 29% and the average decrease -11.8%
  • 117 museums and galleries gave retail spend data – retail revenue was £54,000 on average in 2014, compared to £157,000 per VAM attraction
  • Almost all of the 297 museums and galleries that responded in relation to marketing said they undertook some form of marketing activity
  • Average marketing budget per museums and galleries respondent was £14,508 in 2014

Download the full report

Download Visitor Attraction Monitor Report 2014 (PDF, 705KB)
Published May 2015
Research Conducted By Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development
Research Funded By Museums Galleries Scotland