Rise in tourism numbers boosts UK Venues Industry

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18 August 2011

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According to the latest survey conducted by tourism body VisitEngland, visitor attractions saw a 3% rise in admissions in 2010 and the trend look set to gather momentum across 2011 � 2012. x1,082 Venues across England were polled to gather data on their visitor figures for the year.

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Most of the top 20 places of interest were museums or art galleries, and the British Museum retained its top spot with 5.8m visitors, up 5% on 2009.

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Across the regions, the strongest performance was in London with an increase of 6% in visitor numbers and the North West and South East, both with an increase of 3%.

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The Tower of London topped the paid-for category with 2.4m visits, the survey found. The next most popular non-charging attractions, after the British Museum, were the Tate Modern, the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum.

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After the Tower of London, the most popular paid-for places to go were St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Windermere Lake Cruises, and Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo.

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The survey results are a welcome announcement to the venues industry as revenue generated from tourism assists in vital budgetary matters such as construction and repair, expansion, promotion, staffing and so on. Many publicly open venues are also available for venue hire on a private basis for weddings, receptions, corporate events and conferences, Christmas party venue hire and so on.

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Overall, non-charging attractions saw numbers increase by 6%, with paid-for attractions reporting a decline of 1%.

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Regional venues also featured heavily among the most popular free attractions, including the Ashmolean Museum, the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museums Sheffield and the World Museum Liverpool.

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VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford said: "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".

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"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."

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Following the pattern from last year's study, the performance of attractions varied by category, with visits to museums and art galleries showing an increase of 5%.

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Country parks were up by 5%, and workplaces and places of worship saw a 4% rise.

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