Top 10 suffer drop in visitors

London less successful than rest of UK, according to ALVA figures

Visitor numbers fell at London's top tourist attractions last year, despite an overall increase across the UK.

Figures released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva), show that the UK's top 10 attractions, which are all in the capital and include the British Museum and Tate Modern, got nearly 1.7 million fewer visitors.

However, other attractions across London saw a 1.2% rise in 2017 compared to the previous year, while there was 7.3% increase in visitors across the UK's top 238 attractions.

The results also show that a number of art galleries and museums experienced significant increases in visitors due to popular exhibitions. They include the V&A which had a 26% increase, attributed to the launch of the new entrance and courtyard on Exhibition Road, including a new purpose-built gallery space, as well as phenomenal success of three exhibitions; Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains; Plywood: Material of the Modern World and Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion.

Tate Britain saw a 61% increase in visitors – resulting in a rise to 15th place from 29thwhich they credited in part to the hugely successful David Hockney Exhibition in the first half of the year. The Museum of London Docklands saw a 21% increase, thanks to Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail exhibition and Kensington Palace saw a 62.4% due to Diana: Her Fashion Story.

Bernard Donoghue, Alva chief executive claimed that the high cost of travel, food and drink costs in London may have contributed to the drop in visitors to the top 10 attractions.

Economic factors have also had an impact on UK visitors to central London, with associated evidence that the costs linked to a visit such as travel and food and drink have played an important part in deciding where to visit. Undoubtedly there have been some concerns about global security issues, but economic concerns are playing a more crucial part.”

He added that English Heritage and National Trust, which offer membership schemes, are seen as value for money in times of austerity saw an increase in visitors to a number of their sites.



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