Terracotta Warriors boost Liverpool by £20m

National Museums Liverpool has announced record visitor figures, thanks to the China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at the World Museum.

The museums’ eight venues welcomed 3.3 million visitors for 2017-18, up 9% on 2016-17.

National Museums Liverpool opened its blockbuster exhibition, China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors, in February and it still has five months left to run.

It is proving to be the most popular exhibition held by the museum group, with about half a million people expected to visit throughout the exhibition’s run.

An estimated 36% of visitors to National Museums Liverpool venues are on staying visits from outside the city region.

National Museums Liverpool estimates the Terracotta Warriors exhibition has already driven around 65,000 staying visits to Liverpool and a wider contribution to the local economy of more than £20 million in its first three months.

The 2017-18 season was also a very strong year at the Walker Art Gallery, where visits increased by 53%, thanks to Slaves of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins and a new partnership with the Arts Council Collection.

Other highlights included Tales from the City at Museum of Liverpool; Black Salt at Merseyside Maritime Museum; and the 10th anniversary of the International Slavery Museum.

Tracey McGeagh, marketing and communications director at National Museums Liverpool, said: “Our mission is to be the world’s leading example of an inclusive museum service. In 2017-18, we welcomed a record number of visitors and it is incredibly rewarding and important, that we are attracting so many people into the museums and galleries to share in the collections and hear the stories told in our exhibitions.

“This cultural offer also brings unprecedented profile to the city region and value to the visitor economy.

“More than three quarters of visitors told us that our Terracotta Warriors exhibition was the main reason for their visit to Liverpool . We also know from our wider research that there is a substantial upward trend in the number of visitors to our museums and galleries from abroad this year: at least 40,000 more than last year.”

Since China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors launched, National Museums Liverpool has sold more than 370,000 tickets for the exhibition.

Its media coverage has reached more 29 million people, with an equivalent advertising value of over £1.2 million.

National Museums Liverpool comprises the Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House, Lady Lever Art Gallery, World Museum and the Museum of Liverpool.

Image by Gareth Jones.