Public survey: Groninger Museum, 20th anniversary

On Wednesday 29 October, the striking and celebrated building of the Groninger Museum will reach its 20th anniversary. During the last 12 years, Grontmij (European advisory and engineering office) has implemented an annual public survey for the museum. The most important findings are: a large part of the public combines a visit to the museum with a visit to the city or region, indicates that it intends to return at some time, and travels to the museum by train. The public is rather diverse in its composition, and the share of visitors from abroad is growing. 

International and national visitors
More than 4.5 million people from home and abroad have visited the Groninger Museum in the past 20 years. After an exhibition such as Go China in 2008, for which much publicity was made nationwide, a relatively large number of visitors came from beyond the three northern provinces: a share of almost 80%. Around 6% came from the City of Groningen itself. The museum is also attracting an increasingly international public. This year, the exhibition entitled Natural Beauty was attended by the highest share of foreign visitors ever: 15%. Ten per cent of the visitors came from Germany. 

Connection to the city and region – economic spin-off
The region and the museum supplement one another in economic and social terms. Many visitors combine a visit to the museum with a visit to the city centre, often in conjunction with an overnight stay in the city or surroundings. Visitors spend an average of approximately €45. With an average visitor attendance of 200,000 a year, this amounts to an annual sum of more than 9 million euros. 

Diversity of the visitors 
With the great diversity of exhibitions and activities in the fields of fashion, photography, traditional painting, history and archaeology, the museum attracts a very varied public. The average age is around 50 years but the Nordic Art (2013) exhibition, for example, drew a generally younger public, whereas Russian Folktales (2008) attracted a greater proportion of older visitors. 

Visitor satisfaction
Visitors appear to be very satisfied with the Groninger Museum: the vast majority (90%) declare that they will return to the museum at some time.

Due to the favourable location of the Groninger Museum opposite the Central Station, more than a third of the visitors arrive by train. With many exhibitions, such as those of the work of Azzedine Alaïa in 2012 and Waterhouse in 2009, the number of visitors arriving by train was larger than the number arriving by car.

The report, with its summary and conclusions from the public surveys of the last 12 years, has been drawn up by Grontmij, which is a leading European advisory and engineering office with extensive expertise in the fields of urban development, energy, roads and motorways, light rail, sustainable buildings, and water. Since 2002, the Groningen Museum has commissioned Grontmij to perform an annual survey of visitors to the major exhibitions in the museum.  

Note for the editor:
- For more information, please contact Josee Selbach, tel: +31 (0)50-3666506, or e-mail
- The complete report will be available via from 29 October onward.