Each year, VisitEngland invites all English visitor attractions to take part in an annual survey, recording visitor numbers alongside key information like entrance fees and visitor profiles. The results from this survey are reported annually, providing an overview of the visitor attraction sector in England.
VisitEngland’s Annual Attractions Survey published today shows that gardens saw the highest percentage growth in visitor numbers during 2019.
Visits to England’s gardens increased by 10% in 2019 compared to the previous year. Farms and Places of Worship also saw strong growth in visitor numbers, up 8% and 7% respectively. And Historic Houses/Castles and Wildlife Attractions/Zoos saw good growth in visits, both up by 5%.
Overall England’s visitor attractions saw a rise of 3% in visitors, the highest year-on-year increase since 2014, and 4% growth in revenue compared to the previous year.
VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:
“From world-renowned museums, galleries, castles and historic houses to rural, wildlife and outdoor experiences, England’s outstanding range of visitor attractions are a crucial and valuable part of our tourism offer, boosting local economies right across the country.
“England’s attractions continued to provide a rich and varied canvas to capture the imagination of domestic and international visitors and our stunning gardens were a proven tourism draw, admired at home and across the world for their beauty and variety.
“Millions of jobs and local economies rely on tourism and this annual survey is also a timely opportunity to highlight the dedication of visitor attractions across the country who have been working so hard to welcome visitors back safely, adapting and innovating to meet new ways of working and still providing a great experience.”
Topping the list of free attractions was the British Museum with 6.2 million visitors followed by the Tate Modern with nearly 6.1 million and the National Gallery with 6 million.
The Tower of London remained the most visited ‘paid for’ attraction in 2019 with almost 3 million visits followed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which saw a 25% increase in visitors to 2.3 million and Chester Zoo with 2.1 million.
Visitor admissions grew in most types of attractions in 2019 with many of England’s regions seeing an increase. Attractions in the East Midlands and East of England saw the highest percentage growth, with increases of 7% and 6% respectively.
The survey, which gathered information from 1308 English attractions, also showed increases in international visitors overall in 2019, up 2%, and more local day trips to attractions than in the previous year, also up 2%.
For the full report see the Annual Survey of Visits to Visitor Attractions.
Most visited PAID attractions:
- Tower of London
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
- Chester Zoo
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Windermere Lake Cruises, Bowness
- Westminster Abbey
- Roman Baths
- Old Royal Naval College
- Royal Academy of Arts
Most visited FREE attractions
- British Museum
- Tate Modern
- The National Gallery
- Natural History Museum (South Kensington)
- Brighton Pier
- V&A (South Kensington)
- Science Museum
- Somerset House
- Tate Britain
- National Portrait Gallery, London