The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) has released 2020 visitor numbers which saw an annual decline of 70 per cent due to the unprecedent impacts of the pandemic.
Due to influx in overseas tourists, UK visitor attractions enjoyed a strong start to 2020. However, through the first national lockdown (imposed March 2020) British museums and attractions visitor numbers declined by 66 per cent.
By Summer, outdoor sites were given the greenlight to reopen earlier than indoor attractions – making greenspace destinations more popular than ever before.
For the first time, two gardens appeared in the UK’s top 10 most visited guest experiences. Royal Botanical Gardens Kew saw 1.2 million annual visitors and RHS Garden Wisely enjoying just short of one million.
The introduction of the government tier system imposed forced closures on attractions regionally – meaning impacts of COVID 19 restrictions were greatly uneven around the nation.
For the first time in many years, the top 10 most visited attractions were not in London. Chester Zoo jumped eight places to sixth with 1.2 million annual guests.
The report also highlighted the devastating impacts and vulnerability of some of the UK’s most prestigious visitor experiences. Royal Museums Greenwich saw a 96 per cent decline, welcoming just 111,000 visitors in 2020. Edinburgh Castle, which is usually the most-visited paid attraction in Scotland, also encountered an 86 per cent decline in visits…
Main image: V&A Museum, London. Photo: Wikimedia Commons