by Émer O’Toole
GLASGOW’S Kelvingrove Museum and the Riverside Museum are among the most visited attractions in the UK.
The museums were listed at 24 and 25 respectively on the list published by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA).
The most popular attraction in Scotland, and the 15th most visited in Britain, was the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, which opened 10 new galleries in 2016. Around 1.8 million visitors passed through its doors last year.
The Riverside Museum enjoyed an 11 per cent boost in visitor numbers.
Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museum of Scotland, said exhibitions including Celts and Fossil Hunters and an engaging programme of public events have all contributed to the popularity of the museum.
He added: “2016 has seen a record number of visits across our sites, with nearly 2.7 million visits in total. In 2016 we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the National Museum of Scotland with the opening of ten inspirational and fascinating new galleries of applied art, fashion and design and science and technology.”
Bernard Donoghue, ALVA director, said Scotland has “continued to outperform the rest of the UK” with “a substantial increase” in visitor numbers.
“2016 was a great year for Scottish tourism – proving that Scotland is reaping the benefits of significant capital investment in attractions and creative programming by its institutions.”
Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “As these figures illustrate, this has been a record year for Scotland’s leading visitor attractions.
“Our wide range of attractions and excellent heritage and museum collections continue to provide high-quality and exciting experiences, both to people who live here, and to our visitors.
“The success of our leading visitor attractions will continue to play a vital role in making Scotland a destination of first choice for visitors from the UK and across the world.”