For the second time, ERIH in cooperation with the Ruhr Regional Association conducted a survey on the state of industrial heritage in Europe. It shows that an increasing number of people in Europe are visiting industrial monuments and museums. As a result, the operators of the respective facilities are optimistic about the future. Almost all sites are dependent on public subsidies of varying amounts. In return, they provide jobs in the region.
Of a total of 325 industrial heritage sites contacted, 113 corresponding to 16 countries took part in the survey. Half of them are public bodies, the others are mainly run by private institutions or foundations. All-year opening hours in 87 percent of all cases indicate a relevant tourism service generally ensured by regularly employed labour force. Employment figures vary between one to five full-time jobs with 41 percent of respondents and more than 50 employees with seven percent.
Depending on the location, size and appearance of the facility, visitor numbers vary greatly. One fifth of the sites surveyed had more than 100,000 visitors per year, a quarter numbered between 25,000 and 100,000. Another quarter reported less than 10,000 visitors, making it the bottom end of the list. All sections of the population are addressed, especially families, people over the age of 50 and travellers interested in culture and history. Also young visitors play an increasingly significant role. The majority of the audience - 60 percent - is from the region.
A large portion of site operators consider the trend in visitor numbers to be good or very good. The competitiveness also scores almost consistently high. There are bottlenecks in personnel: 36 percent of those surveyed are critical about this issue.
Meanwhile, many sites are making efforts aimed at increasing visitor numbers or addressing new target groups. High on the agenda are stepped-up marketing activities, a stronger focus on customers and the creation of new entertaining attractions. In addition, construction projects are being launched, including the improvement of energy efficiency and accessibility.