Published on : Monday, July 3, 2017
Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the Corning Museum of Glass each year — many of them coming from a lot farther away than Tennessee — providing a huge boost to a region that relies on tourism as a major driver of its economic engine.
The museum has always been one of the top tourist draws in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions since it opened in 1951. Its popularity has increased significantly since the new Contemporary Art and Design Wing opened in the spring of 2015, adding 100,000 square feet of display space. Attendance had already been on the rise over the previous few years, but after the new wing opened, visitors went from 438,000 in 2014 to about 460,000.
The new Corning museum wing is expected to boost tourism
Beth Duane, the museum’s chief marketing and communications officer said, “Expectations have been met and then some, quite frankly. So the first full year we were open with the expansion, we achieved 460,000 annual attendance. I’m happy to report in 2016 we were able to match that. That was primarily driven through individual and family traffic, which is especially rewarding. We did see a slight downturn in international group visits, but family traffic more than made up for the group shortfall. It just demonstrates the impact of an expansion but also the programming and exhibitions and entire experience that goes along with it. With the expansion, we’ve been able to elevate what we do.”
Most visitors come from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but the museum is seeing growth in traffic from the Maryland and Washington, D.C. areas. International visitors account for 30 percent of the facility’s annual attendance, Duane said. The Corning Museum of Glass draws visitors from more than 35 countries. At the top of the list is Canada, followed by China, India, Israel, Germany and France.
Duane doesn’t know whether the Corning Museum of Glass will attract 500,000 visitors for this year or not, but it remains the goal.
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