The New York Times tours the museums that are making themselves friendlier to a huge influx of Chinese tourists who are now the biggest group arriving in Los Angeles, growing at a pace of 20% over the previous year, and account for 750,000 visitors to New York. 36% of those Chinese visitors go to museums or art galleries:
Fred Dixon, chief executive of NYC & Company, New York’s tourism marketing organization, said “icons” lure Chinese visitors — especially the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “They like the status,” he said. “The heritage and history are real draws for them as well.”
Museums of all sizes and types across the United States are trying to cater to the Chinese. The efforts include audio tours and maps in Mandarin; acceptance of UnionPay, a Chinese credit card; and promotion on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform.
Not surprisingly, the Met has been at the forefront of these activities, responding to the steep rise in Chinese visitors. In the museum’s last fiscal year, ended on June 30, Chinese for the first time became the largest segment of its foreign visitors; the number more than quadrupled over five years, from 50,000 in fiscal year 2009, to 209,000 in fiscal year 2014.
As Chinese Tourism Increases, American Museums Adapt (NYTimes.com)