VisitEngland Annual Survey of Visitor Attractions

The 2016 results from the VisitEngland Annual Attractions Survey have now been released. Key findings, based on data reported by just over 1,300 separate attractions include:

  • Attractions reported a 2% annual increase in total visits in 2016
  • The top five attractions in England in 2016 that charged an admission fee were Tower of London, Chester Zoo, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo and Windermere Lake Cruises
  • The top five free attractions in England in 2016 were British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, Brighton Pier and Natural History Museum
  • There was significant variation in the annual change in visitor admissions across the different attraction categories with Gardens and Wildlife Attractions/Zoos up 8%, and Historic Houses/Castles up 7%
  • By contrast Places of Worship witnessed a decline in admissions of 8%
  • Over the past quarter century ‘Farms’ are the attraction type to have seen the strongest growth in visitor admissions
  • London was the only region to see a decline (-1%) while attractions in South West England enjoyed growth of 3%
  • The top five attractions in the South West were Stonehenge, Roman Baths, Eden Project, Moors Valley Country Park and Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company
  • The number of visits by schoolchildren declined for the third consecutive year
  • Revenue increased by more than admissions, at 7%
  • Adult admission prices increased at an average rate of 6%, significantly higher than the rate of inflation and higher than the increase in each of the three previous years
  • 89% of attractions that charge an admission fee for adults also charge a fee for children
  • The average adult admission price for charging attractions in 2016 was £8.75 with an average child admission price of £5.61
  • The proportion of attractions that report receiving revenue through ‘opening late’ continues to increase, now at 29%
  • The net increase in marketing spend across participating attractions was 7% - as in previous years attractions that reported having increased their marketing spend were more likely to report an increase in their total admissions and gross revenue than were attractions not investing more in marketing
  • 95% of attractions operate a website and 38% offer online booking functionality, while 82% have a Facebook page, 68% a Twitter account and 36% use Pinterest and/or Instagram