27 October 2015
Te Papa to change opening hours in response to visitor trends In response to consistently low visitor numbers during its late night time slot, Te Papa will no longer be open late on Thursday nights, effective from Christmas 2015. The museum’s new opening hours will be 10am – 6pm daily. Previously the museum had remained open until 9pm on Thursdays. In the last year, an average of 374 visitors came to Te Papa over the three hours of Thursday night opening, in line with similar numbers over the last five years.
This compares to the 3,700 visitors who come to Te Papa between 10am and 6pm on an average day.
Communications manager Kate Camp says the decision is a practical one.
“Te Papa is proud to be a free museum open 365 days a year.” “Of our 1.55 million visitors over the last year, only 1.4% have chosen to come on Thursday night. That’s a pretty clear message about what the public wants.”
Ms Camp says the low interest in late night Thursday has been a consistent pattern over many years. Of the 374 average visitors that did come on a Thursday night, most were coming between 6 and 7pm. Only around 50 people an hour enter the museum between 7 – 9pm.
“We’ve made a call that it’s just not practical to be open until 9pm every Thursday for the relatively small number of people who come at that time.”
Ms Camp says the museum would continue to open late for the annual Wellington free day, as well as for a range special events and functions.
“We look forward to offering special events that will bring the place alive on specific evenings through the year.”
For those who like to come when the museum is less busy, her advice was for people to come later in the day if they prefer to visit when things are quieter.
“On both weekends and weekdays, the last hour of the day is usually the quietest,” Ms Camp says.
The last late night Thursday will be December 17th.
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