MADRID, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The local Thyssen-Bornemisza museum has taken special measures to cater to the increasing number of Chinese visitors, Evelio Acevedo, managing director of the museum has told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview.
"We realized in 2015 that more and more Chinese tourists are visiting our gallery and we decided to act," said Acevedo.
The first actions were to install signs and explanations of the paintings on display in Chinese and after seeing the good results, the museum took the step of becoming a friendly museum for Chinese visitors, he said.
"As well as translating the signs, we adapted the museum for them. Our guides speak Chinese and have been taught the customs which make them feel at home and also to focus attention on the works which they like the most," he said.
"We don't want them to just see paintings, we want them to really feel the museum and for that reason we have also adopted a menu in accordance with Chinese tastes in the restaurant, while the museum shop also has products designed with Chinese visitors in mind," the managing director said.
The Thyssen is located in the heart of Madrid, known as the "Triangle of Art," which it shares with the Prado museum and the Reina Sofia museum.
On many occasions, Chinese tourists have only a limited amount of time to enjoy all that Madrid has to offer and Acevedo believes that the Thyssen has been able to adapt to the situation.
"We have prepared visits of between an hour and a half and two hours which take in the most important works in the museum while allowing time to visit other museums in the city," Acevedo said.
The Thyssen was the sixth most visited museum in Spain in 2018, according to figures published by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport at the beginning of this year.
Another strategy taken by the museum to attract Chinese visitors is to organize activities which tourists or Chinese residents in Spain can participate in.
For example, to celebrate the Chinese New Year, the museum invited visitors to find the animals of the Chinese zodiac hidden in its paintings. This event has been held for two years.
Just across the road from the Thyssen, the Prado museum welcomed 2.9 million visitors in 2018 and the figure is likely to increase in 2019 as the museum celebrates its bicentenary.
The Reina Sofia museum was the most popular in Spain, receiving almost 4 million visitors in 2018, many of whom went to see Pablo Picasso's famous painting Guernica.