The Volvo Ocean Race Museum in Alicante welcomed 55,269 visitors in 2018, the highest number ever recorded for a year without a race start from Alicante.
The Museum also enjoyed its highest ever share of foreign visitors with more than half of the visitors coming from outside Spain.
With 52% of visitors identifying as international, the Museum significantly exceeds the average rate of foreign visits in Comunidad Valenciana (7%) and Spain (12.5%), according to the latest data available from the Ministry of Culture and Sports (for 2016).
By nationality, British visitors were the most numerous (19% of foreign visitors), followed by French (7%), Russian (6%) and Swedish (5%).
As for national visitors, 17,891 were from Alicante, which represents 70% of national visits and 32% of total visits in 2018.
"Welcoming more than 55,000 guests is an excellent result in a year between races. If we add that more than half came from abroad and a third from Alicante, the data is even more positive. I think the Museum has confirmed its role as a major cultural, sports and tourist attraction in the city, "said Antonio Bolaños, the managing director of Volvo Ocean Race.
The number of visits in 2018 continues an upward trend, being 6% higher than the figure for 2016 and 9% higher than that registered in 2015, the most recent ‘non-start’ years.
In 2017, the most recent year in which Alicante was the start port for the 2017-18 edition of the race, the Museum registered an all-time record of 73,421 visitors, 45.5% of whom were international.
The Museum, with free entrance and a school visitor program, belongs to the Network of Museums of the Generalitat Valenciana. It was inaugurated in 2012 and is located in the Port of Alicante.
"The Museum allows us to share our heritage, history and story on a daily basis with Alicante and with international visitors. It is an important feature for the race, especially in the periods between races when the boats are not competing around the world," said Johan Salén, co-owner of Atlant Ocean Racing, who will take over management of the race after Volvo changes its role from owner to partner in future editions.
The Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the fully-crewed around the race, which was first sailed in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, before becoming the Volvo Ocean Race in 2001. Since 2008 Alicante has hosted the start of the race four times and will do so again in the next editions in 2021 and 2025.