When it opened in 1972, the Aviation and Space Travel Hall housed the largest permanent aviation-related exhibition in Europe. It received a reboot in the year under review and relaunched under the motto "Switzerland in the air!" The renovated exhibition encompasses passenger and cargo air transport, light aviation, air sports, and careers in aeronautics and aviation. The section entitled "Medical help from the air" was expanded in collaboration with museum partner Rega. The Swiss Air Force provided a Patrouille Suisse jet. In partnership with automobile collector Corrado Lopresto, the Swiss Museum of Transport launched a new display featuring Italian design in the Road Transport Hall in 2018: ten vehicles from the Lopresto collection take pride of place in the midst of design originals from the 1960s and 1970s. Tracks, points and catenaries are key components of railway technology: railway engineering service provider Sersa Switzerland and the museum launched a new themed display in the Rail Transport Hall under the motto "Building railways for mobility!".
Profit despite sustained period of fine weather
The annual accounts closed with a net profit of CHF 329,409 (-12%), a satisfactory trading result. Admissions to the museum were a gratifying 496,147, thus failing to achieve the budgeted target of 530,000 museum visitors. The reason for this is the very long, dry period of fine weather in summer 2018. "Despite the fine mid-summer weather, we recorded almost half a million admissions to the museum with our attractive offer," says Martin Bütikofer, Director of the Swiss Museum of Transport, commenting on the annual accounts. Net revenue in the reporting year 2018 was CHF 18,040,746 (-8.4%). The decrease is due to reduced receipts from sponsorships and exhibition partners. The number of memberships (36,765) increased slightly. "Overall, I am satisfied with the result," says Martin Bütikofer. "Closing on a positive result is a never-ending challenge."
Highly successful additional offerings
The new price structure introduced on 1 January 2018 included the launch of the day pass, which covers admission not only to the museum, but also to the Planetarium, Filmtheatre, Swiss Chocolate Adventure and Media World. Day pass holders can visit any of these attractions as often as they choose on the day of their visit. This led to an increased take-up of the additional offerings. The Planetarium recorded an increase in admissions of 21.2% (75,932), while admissions to the Swiss Chocolate Adventure (83,175) rose by 14.8%. The Filmtheatre also experienced an increase (+8.4%) in admissions (126,849). Thanks to Red Bull Media House's better positioning and additional events in the Media World, the latest attraction at the Swiss Museum of Transport increased its visitor numbers (107,961) by 35.4%.
Switzerland in the air!
The focus of the Swiss Museum of Transport in 2019 will once again be on aviation and space travel. The second part of the special exhibition "Switzerland in the air!" will be presented in the newly reorganised Aviation and Space Travel Hall. The planetarium is celebrating its 50th anniversary, while the space exhibition is commemorating the lunar landing 50 years ago. "Visitors can look forward to a varied programme," says Martin Bütikofer, looking ahead to the coming year at the Swiss Museum of Transport.