Sunshine gives British tourism a boost

AOL Travel
Embargoed to 0001 Wednesday March 5File photo dated 01/04/08 of the Palm House at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew as Kew in west London had 29% more visitors last year, while London Zoo numbers rose 26.4% and Stonehenge was up 18.9%. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday March 5, 2014. Tourist hotspots such as Kew Gardens, London Zoo and Stonehenge all saw huge leaps in visitor numbers in 2013 compared to rainy 2012. Overall, the main visitor attractions in the UK welcomed 6% more people last year than in 2012, with outdoor attractions up 8%. See PA story TRAVEL Attractions. Photo credit should read: Katie Collins/PA Wire
Embargoed to 0001 Wednesday March 5File photo dated 01/04/08 of the Palm House at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew as Kew in west London had 29% more visitors last year, while London Zoo numbers rose 26.4% and Stonehenge was up 18.9%. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday March 5, 2014. Tourist hotspots such as Kew Gardens, London Zoo and Stonehenge all saw huge leaps in visitor numbers in 2013 compared to rainy 2012. Overall, the main visitor attractions in the UK welcomed 6% more people last year than in 2012, with outdoor attractions up 8%. See PA story TRAVEL Attractions. Photo credit should read: Katie Collins/PA Wire

The sunshine boosts tourism in the UK, tourist chiefs have announced.

Last year's bright and sunny summer saw numbers rise at Britain's outdoor tourist attractions. Hotspots such as London Zoo, Kew Gardens and Stonehenge all saw a significant boost in visitor numbers in 2013 compared with rainy 2012. Source: Press Association.

Overall, the main visitor attractions in the UK welcomed six per cent more people last year than in 2012, with outdoor attractions up 8 per cent.

Kew in west London had 29 per cent more visitors last year, while London Zoo numbers rose 26.4 per cent and Stonehenge was up 18.9 per cent.

The figures, from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva), also showed that the British Museum, with numbers up 20 per cent to 6.7 million, was the top attraction last year, followed by the National Gallery in London (up 14 per cent to 6.03 million) and the Natural History Museum in London (up 6.7 per cent to 5.35 million).

London attractions had a 12 per cent increase in 2013, with England attractions overall up 5 per cent and Scottish attractions also up five per cent.

A total of 67 of the 197 Alva members' venues had increases of more than 10 per cent last year, compared with only 16 that enjoyed such rises in 2012.

Only 18 of the venues experienced decreases in numbers of more than 10 per cent last year compared with 2012. This was in contrast to 2012 when 33 locations had a double-digit decline compared with 2011.

Other attractions with big increases last year included the Tower of London (up 18.4 per cent to 2.89 million), the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich in south London (up 27 per cent to 1.43 million) and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where the opening of the Mary Rose Museum resulted in a 55 per cent increase to more than 674,000.

Alva director Bernard Donoghue said: "2014 is sure to be a momentous year, seeing the 450th anniversary of the birth of Shakespeare.

"Therefore we are delighted that Shakespeare's Globe in London and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, along with the South Bank Centre in London, are Alva's newest members.

"In 2013, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust saw a 13 per cent increase in visitor numbers, and they will build on this in 2014 by launching a brand new exhibition, Famous Beyond Words, later this month."



Related stories

In pictures: London's weirdest attractions

Twenty of the best: Things to do for free in London

Ten of Britain's most beautiful gardens

Weirdest tourist attractions in Britain