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Number of visits to UK attractions are bouncing back says ALVA


Visitor numbers at the UK’s leading attractions have bounced strongly, getting to 78 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers.

Figures published by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) show that the number of visits to its sites rose by 69 per cent in 2022 when compared with the year before, only 22 per cent lower than in 2019.

As all pandemic restrictions were lifted for 2022, indoor sites enjoyed the strongest year-on-year growth, with a 176 per cent uplift, ahead of mixed sites at 44 per cent.

Outdoor sites reported an increase of five per cent during the year.

The most-visited attraction in the UK – with 5,636,844 visits (a four per cent increase on 2021) – is still Windsor Great Park, which is managed by the Crown Estate.

The most-visited indoor attraction and second most visited attraction overall was the Natural History Museum in London, which saw a 196 per cent increase in visitors to 4,654,608.

The British Museum saw a 209 per cent increase in visitors, welcoming 4,097,253 people through its doors – making it the third most visited attraction in the country. In fourth place was Tate Modern, which saw a 202 per cent increase.

Bernard Donoghue, director of ALVA, said: “These figures show that visitors flocked back to their favourite places in 2022 to breathe, heal, repair and to enjoy special moments with special people in special places.

"The year ended strongly with attractions reporting a very busy Christmas, strong visitor numbers and strong retail sales.

“Many attractions are still not back up to 2019 visitor levels due, mainly, to the absence of international visitors, notably from China and the Far East, but I am confident that they will return this year and we will see a continuing healthy recovery"

In the pandemic year of 2020, The UK’s major visitor attractions recorded just 45.4 million visits – a 70 per cent fall from the 151.3 million visits they received in 2019.

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