Visitor Attractions in England Boosted by 3% Increase in 2010
Free attractions driving the increase with figures up by 6%
Admissions to England’s visitor attractions rose by 3 per cent in 2010 according to VisitEngland’s Annual Visitor Attractions Survey. The boost in visits was driven predominantly by free attractions which increased by 6 per cent with paid attractions reporting an overall decline of 1 per cent reflecting the predisposition of the nation to tighten its belt during times of economic uncertainty.
The majority of the top twenty free attractions were museums or art galleries, with the British Museum retaining its top spot with 5.8million visitors followed by the Tate Modern, National Gallery and Natural History Museum. Regional museums and galleries also featured heavily including the Ashmolean Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museums Sheffield and the World Museum Liverpool.
The Tower of London topped the paid for category with 2.4 million visits, followed by St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Windermere Lake Cruises, and Flamingo Land Theme Park & Zoo. Many of the most visited paid for attractions were categorised as historic properties and included The Tower of London, Stonehenge, Houses of Parliament & Big Ben, Chatsworth House and Leeds Castle.
Following the pattern from last year’s study, the performance of attractions varied by category, with visits to museums and art galleries showing a significant increase of 5 per cent, higher among those with free entry. Country parks were up by 5%, and workplaces and places of worship, up by 4 per cent, also outperformed the market.
Across the region, the strongest performance was in London with (+6 per cent) and the North West and South East, ( both +3 per cent).
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive:
England has a wealth of top class visitor attractions many of which are free. We know Britons are even more worried about the economy and this will have an impact on their holiday choices. England offers some fantastic free attractions and great affordable days out providing anyone holidaying at home this year with an experience in this country that is both enriching and great value. Competition on the world stage is tough and it is the quality of our attractions that will help to ensure that people come back time and time again to visit something new, exciting and unique to England.
Tables of top twenty attractions follow below.
Natural History Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
National Portrait Gallery
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Old Royal Naval College
Imperial War Museum
Merseyside Maritime Museum
Museums Sheffield: Millennium Gallery
National Maritime Museum
World Museum Liverpool
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
National Railway Museum
PAID FOR ATTRACTIONS
Tower of London
St Paul's Cathedral
Windermere Lake Cruises, Bowness
Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Gardens
ZSL London Zoo
Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
RHS Garden Wisley
Ironbridge - Ironbridge Visitor Centre
Hampton Court Palace
Bristol Zoo Gardens
% CHANGE 09/10
Historic houses / castles
Other historic properties
Leisure / theme parks
Museums / art galleries
Steam / heritage railways
Visitor / heritage centre
Wildlife attractions / zoos
Places of worship
% CHANGE 09/10
No change from last year
Yorkshire / The Humber
No change from last year
For more information or to arrange an interview contact:
Sarah Long, Head of Corporate Communications Tel: 020 7 578 1452, Mob: 07500555651, Email: email@example.com www.visitengland.org
Notes to Editors
• Based on a survey of 1,802 England visitor attractions that provided visit figures for both 2009 and 2010
• For the full report see http://www.visitengland.org/insight-statistics/major-tourism-surveys/attractions/Annual_Survey/index.aspx
• Please note ’Places of Work’ is defined as attractions such as breweries, distilleries, vineyards and premises where crafts are created.
• Please be aware that the Visits to Visitor Attractions Survey is a self completion survey. There is no obligation for any visitor attraction, or any parent company / group of attractions to supply data. VisitEngland does not verify data provided by an attraction beyond a basic 'sense check'. In addition, visitor attractions have the option of taking part in the survey anonymously, meaning not all visitor attractions that participate in the survey are named in the report or included in ranked lists of attractions.
• For a number of the attractions, data has been included with kind permission of ALVA (Association of Leading Visitor Attractions), English Heritage, The Museums Libraries and Archives Council and The National Trust.
• VisitEngland operates the Visitor Attractions Quality Scheme (VAQAS). The scheme boasts a reputation for instigating, modifying and shaping change to the customer experience at visitor attractions across England. Areas covered by the annual assessment include pre-arrival information, the website, journey planning, signage, welcome on arrival, toilets, catering and retail outlets. The scheme currently has over a thousand members.
• More information can be found on www.enjoyengland.com and www.visitengland.org