York tourism: Hotel stays hit record high, but fewer people visit attractions

25 Mar 2015 @ 11.03 am
| Business

Visit York released their 2014 tourism figures today and they show a city doing well.

It was a record year for hotels and footfall through the city centre.

And though the numbers visiting York’s attractions fell by five per cent on 2013, it was still the second best year since the figures started being collated.

Here are the numbers:

83% of hotel rooms occupied (3% up on 2013)

£80.79 average room rate (6% up)

Down 5% – visits to attractions (3.06m in 2014; 3.22 m in 2013)

7% up – city centre footfall in Dec 2014 on Dec 2013

Up by 11,000 – number of visitors staying overnight

Up to £75 from £70: average leisure visitor spend per head

Up to £153 from £146: average business visitor spend per head

Up 8% – use of the York Pass (to 2,644)

The drop in visitors to attractions in 2014 is being put down to the National Railway Museum having an exceptional 2013 thanks to the Mallard 75 celebrations.

Nevertheless, York Dungeon reported their best ever Halloween week in 2014 and both Clifford’s Tower and York’s Chocolate Story saw their best ever year too.

Put York on the map

Head of Visit York Kate McMullen said she was delighted by the results, which were fantastic news for the city.

In 2005 tourism revenue exceeded £300 million for the first time and today we’re well on our way to doubling this figure.

We’re extremely fortunate in York to have a thriving tourism sector with a wealth of first class visitor attractions, festivals and superb shopping.

Our role is to harness everything that’s good about the city and ensure we spread this message locally, nationally and internationally, putting York firmly on the map for both leisure and business visitors.

– Kate McMullen

Also released are the results of the Economic Impact Survey (2013).

This showed the overall number of visitors stayed the same, at 6.7 million, of which 917,000 were business visitors.

Of the leisure visitors, 230,000 or four per cent were from overseas.

Most of our overseas tourists came from the United States (18%), Australia (16%), France (7%), and Germany, Spain and Japan (5% each).

The survey says the total tourism spend for 2013 was £573 million and the sector accounted for 19,000 jobs.

Other findings include an increase in spend across all sectors compared to 2012.

  1. Food and drink = £120m (up £9m, 8% growth)
  2. Shopping = £107m (up £4m, 4% growth)
  3. Accommodation = £91m (up £6m, 7% growth)
  4. Travel = £74m (up £11m, 18% growth)
  5. Attractions = £41m (up £1m, 4% growth)