Market Research Shows Tower of London and British Musuem Among Top Attractions in England

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17th August 2012 17:29 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

According to VisitEngland’s Annual Visitor Attractions Survey, admissions to England’s visitor attractions rose by 3 per cent in 2011.

The research showed that despite challenging economic conditions, many of those businesses who were able to invest in marketing last year have benefited.  Attractions which invested more money in marketing in 2011 than the previous year saw an 8 per cent rise in visitors and a 17 per cent increase in revenue, whereas those who spent less on marketing than previously saw 2 per cent more visitors, whilst revenue remained flat.

The Tower of London maintained top spot in the paid for category with 2.6 million visits, followed by Westminster Abbey with 1.9 million visits (an increase of over a third, likely to be due in part to its central role in last year’s Royal Wedding), St Paul’s Cathedral, Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo and Chester Zoo. As in previous years, many of the most-visited paid for attractions were part of England’s rich history and heritage, such as Stonehenge, The Houses of Parliament & Big Ben and Tatton Park – however, wildlife parks and gardens also featured.   

Visits to free attractions were up 1 per cent overall in 2011, following on from a 6 per cent increase in 2010. Continuing the previous year’s trend, the majority of the top twenty free attractions in England were museums or art galleries. The British Museum marked its fourth consecutive year as the most-visited free attraction in England with 5.8 million visitors. The British Museum was followed by the National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern and the Science Museum.  This trend was evident across the country, with regional attractions including the National Railway Museum in York, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the newly-opened Museum of Liverpool all making their way in to the top twenty free attractions. 

Widespread use of new media was also evident. The survey found that 77 per cent of attractions have a website, whilst two-thirds of attractions offered some form of digital communications, with 51 per cent present on Facebook, 29 per cent having a Twitter account and 24 per cent producing an e-newsletter.

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