Visitors who want to make a stop at the Statue of Liberty may find themselves in more crowded conditions than ever before.
Since January, visits to the Statue of Liberty in New York City have soared. The island with the infamous statue had 171,000 visitors in February — a 15 percent increase from the year before. January had 170,000 visitors, an 18 percent increase from 2016, according to The New York Times.
Statue Cruises — the company that keeps track of visitor numbers with ferry ticket sales — reported that so far in 2017, the amount of visitors to the island has smashed all records since the cruise line started counting in 1991.
According to interviews conducted by The New York Times, people have been particularly motivated to visit the national monument as a direct response to the Trump administration’s travel ban and refugee policies. A more mild winter than usual may have also contributed to growing tourist numbers.
The Statue of Liberty opened in 1886 and now receives approximately 4 million visitors every year. The statue is currently undergoing renovations in anticipation of a new Liberty Museum at the base. The $70-million museum, expected to open in 2019, will include artifacts from the statue’s history, including the original torch which was replaced during the 1986 centennial renovation.
Visitors who wish to enter the museum, pedestal, or crown of the Statue of Liberty must make reservations. Tickets are available online, starting at $18 or $21 to access the crown viewing point.