Broadway shows attract record number of foreign tourists

NEW YORK Thu Jan 9, 2014 4:25pm EST

A man stands among umbrellas in the line for Broadway show tickets in New York June 10, 2013. REUTERS/Zoran Milich

A man stands among umbrellas in the line for Broadway show tickets in New York June 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Zoran Milich

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Record numbers of foreign tourists and young adults flocked to Broadway shows in the 2012-2013 season, according to a report released on Thursday by The Broadway League.

The national trade association for the Broadway industry said tourists accounted for 66 percent of all ticket sales in the season that ran from May 28, 2012 to May 26, 2013, up 3 percent from the previous season, and nearly a third were visitors from abroad.

"The 2012-2013 season attracted the largest number of admissions by visitors from other countries since the study began, with 23 percent of all admissions to Broadway shows in New York City," said Charlotte St. Martin, the executive director of The Broadway League.

Its 16th annual demographic report showed the number of Hispanic theatergoers increased to 8 percent and young adults, 18-24 years old, made up 14 percent of audiences, the highest percentage since the league started compiling the reports.

Audience numbers for the 2012-2013 season reached 11.6 million but were down by 6 percent from the previous season, which was on par with a decrease in playing weeks, according to the league. Grosses form Broadway shows were flat at $1.14 billion.

The report, based on 5,761 audience questionnaires distributed during the year to June 2013, showed the average age of a Broadway attendee was 42.5 years old and 68 percent of theatergoers were female.

Forty-one percent of people said they bought tickets online and the average Broadway theatergoer saw four shows in the past 12 months.

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Stephen Powell)

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