The number of visits to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) continued to be on the rise in 2018. Within just two years of operation, the SNFCC has been already established as the main destination of recreation, learning and sports and a key cultural destination in Athens, while at the same time, the Stavros Niarchos Park is registered as a major metropolitan park in the Greek capital. More specifically, SNFCC welcomed 5.3 visits in 2018, a 76% increase compared to 2017. This trend is observed across the entire year; in fact, in some instances, the monthly YoY increase is over 400%.
Nikos Manolopoulos, SNFCC’s Managing Director stated: “The public has rewarded the creation of a unique cultural and environmental project. The residents of the Athens metro area and the region of Attica, in particular, are visiting the SNFCC over and over again, approving the way it operates. SNFCC’s operation focuses on visitor service, security, infrastructure maintenance, and efficiency. Our vision is being realized through the offering of thousands of activities and events, the majority of which is free of charge for the public.
Of course, such a high number of visits requires a series of actions to be taken from all stakeholders involved, and it underscores the need for the construction of a Metro station nearby.
We are deeply grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, its Board of Directors and its executives; its Co-President Andreas C. Dracopoulos in particular for the multifaceted and tangible support and encouragement they offer to the SNFCC. We would also like to thank the Greek Ministry of Finance for the way it serves as SNFCC’s supervisor. Moreover, we would like to thank the public and our visitors for warmly embracing the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center from the beginning, and already considering it to be their own.”
This impressive increase of visits can be attributed to a series of strategic moves including:
- SNFCC’s decision to position itself as a new paradigm of public space, one which is open, free, without any kind of barriers, where everyone feels welcome;
- The establishment of the SNFCC as a holiday destination through targeted activities. Athenians have associated major holidays such as New Year’s Eve and May Day with the SNFCC and are opting to spend their days there. For example, the “SNFCC Christmas World” in December 2018 attracted over 700.000 visits. The light installations set up at the Stavros Niarchos Park, as well as the Ice Rink on the Canal, played a key role;
- The collaboration and partnership with organizations and institutions promoting tourism, and the emergence of the SNFCC as a modern Athenian landmark. This effort is still underway and is expected to intensify within 2019;
- The further enhancement of the SNFCC’s cultural, educational and athletic programming, the largest portion of which is offered free thanks to an exclusive grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), as well as the first full season of the Greek National Opera at the SNFCC;
- The high quality of services offered at the SNFCC (visitor service, security, cleanliness) despite the dramatic increase of visitors.
This last point was actually verified through a large-scale double survey among visitors and Attica’s residents, where over than 3.000 people were surveyed. The survey was conducted in December 2018.
According to this survey, 93% of Attica’s residents and 99% of SNFCC’s visitors have a positive opinion, whereas 91% of the public (in Attica) consider the SNFCC to be an open, accessible space that improved Athenians’ quality of life and the city’s cultural landscape. Regarding the services offered, 87% of visitors consider the level of security at the SNFCC’s premises to be appropriate, 99% considers the SNFCC clean and 90% is satisfied from the level of visitor service.
The survey also indicated that one in two residents of Attica over the age of 18 has already visited the SNFCC and that people visit the SNFCC 5 times on average. The fact that many repeat their visits signifies that the public has familiarized itself with a new model of public cultural space of high aesthetics, something that has been the goal of the SNF and the Greek State all along.
In order to achieve this, a multifaceted programming series was developed, including cultural educational, environmental, athletic and recreational activities for all ages. In 2018, as in 2017, over 3.000 such activities were organized by the SNFCC, thanks to SNF’s grant. Special emphasis is given on children, through the development of specially curated educational programs and tours for schools and families alike, on kids with or without disability and on people over the age of 60, through a series of wellness and skill-building programs.