The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) [Alliance member] has just announced its members’ visitor figures, prior to English Tourism Week. Their findings show that there has overall been a UK-wide increase in visitor numbers, despite the 4% drop in the number of overseas visitors to the UK last year.
Among the key findings:
- UK sites saw an overall increase in visitor numbers by 8.68% and Scotland out performed the rest of the UK for the 7th year running;
- Tate Modern was the most visited attraction in the UK, overtaking the British Museum for the first time;
- Following the success of ‘Terracotta Warriors’, the World Museum in Liverpool became the most visited Museum in England, outside London;
- The most visited attraction in England outside London was Chester Zoo
Bernard Donoghue, Director of ALVA, commented: “Attractions across the UK have shown that by investing in their buildings, gardens and staff, presenting globally significant exhibitions, and working together to bring iconic artefacts – whether poppies or dinosaurs – to more people, has been hugely successful.”
While the news is mostly good, some visitor numbers suffered due to more extreme weather conditions and also security concerns surrounding recent terror attacks. Brexit is also bringing increasing concerns to a wide range of ALVA’s members accross the UK. Tourism is the UK’s fifth-biggest industry and its third-biggest employer and visitor numbers and corporate hire figures are down accross many sites due to uncertainty and perceptions of the UK around Brexit. This is particularly in the case of certain sites where over 80% or 90% of their visitors are international, with many coming from European countries.