USA Today reported today:
“Visitor counts at the Smithsonian Institution’s museums have rebounded to more than 30 million visits in 2009 for the first time since a slump following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.”
The Smithsonian doesn’t charge admittance fees, so the economy is “credited” with the uptick. And since area hotels have been slumping, the thought is that Washingtonians are getting out there. Awesome. I cannot tell you how many Saturdays I spent as a poor college student on the National Mall. It always felt like we were surrounded by tourists.
It also didn’t hurt that My All-Time Favorite Museum finally re-opened after that horribly, horribly long renovation.
The article goes on to suggest that the staycation trend has people visiting museums in their own cities, which I think is fabulous. I went to the Art Institute last year, but it was only because my dad was in town. Now that I think about it, I should really get over to the new Holocaust Museum in Skokie.
The moral of the story is that we should use the resources we have available. Museums are relatively inexpensive, generally entertaining and we might even learn something.