News Release from The National WWII Museum:
The National WWII Museum ended 2017 by exceeding previous visitation records. In 2017, the institution welcomed 706,664 visitors – the most in a single calendar year since opening its doors in 2000. Additionally, on December 27, the Museum broke its single-day attendance record by welcoming 6,642 guests. The previous single-day record of 5,553 was set in 2016.
The visitation numbers are a capstone to a year of notable achievements for the Museum, including opening a new exhibit on the American Home Front – The Arsenal of Democracy: The Herman and George Brown Salute to the Home Front – and launching combat-veteran vessel PT-305 for civilian rides on Lake Pontchartrain. Last September, the institution was recognized in the 2017 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for museums, ranking No. 2 in the world and No. 2 in the nation. The Museum also remains the No. 1 attraction in New Orleans for the fifth consecutive year, and 47 percent of its out-of-town visitors cite the institution as a top or very important reason for visiting the city, evidence of the Museum’s major economic impact.
“We closed out the month of December with a total of 67,119 visitors, and over 30,000 of those visitors came in just one week alone,” said Stephen J. Watson, Museum President & CEO. “We are extremely proud to share the Museum’s unprecedented growth with visitors from around the world. In just the past 12 months, we dedicated our Founders Plaza, launched a fully-restored patrol-torpedo boat, opened a new permanent exhibit and broke ground on The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center. We are proud to continue to advance our educational mission, while simultaneously supporting the cultural economy in the city of New Orleans.”
The Museum has generated about $132 million in annual economic impact for the state of Louisiana and has totaled more than $1.38 billion in direct and indirect impact since 2000. Directly supporting over 330 jobs and indirectly supporting an additional 143 jobs in the New Orleans area, the Museum has become one of the region’s most significant employers.
Additional stages of the Museum’s $400 million expansion plan include construction of the Bollinger Canopy of Peace, which will soon take its place as a new landmark on the New Orleans skyline, rising 148 feet above the entire campus and standing as an engineering and architectural statement of distinction. In 2019, the institution will open The Higgins Hotel and the Hall of Democracy – a pavilion dedicated to research, WWII content expertise and worldwide educational outreach. The Liberation Pavilion, which will focus on end-of-war and postwar experiences, is scheduled for completion in 2020.