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UK Visitor Attractions market report

"Visitor attraction numbers should continue on their growth path towards 2021. People are looking to escape the political and economic uncertainty that dominates the news at the moment. This means that they will be looking for forms of escapism close to home. The fall in value of the pound makes overseas trips more expensive for UK consumers so many will opt for domestic trips instead. It also makes the UK a more attractive destination for foreign visitors and this should serve a boost to visitor attraction numbers."

- Fergal McGivney, Travel Analyst

This report is looking at the following areas:

  • Zoos and wildlife attractions could potentially receive a boost in 2017
  • Financially confident older consumers are key to growing visitor numbers over the next year

Mintel has chosen to examine the following types of visitor attraction as the core focus of this Report:

  • Country parks
  • Gardens
  • Heritage and visitor centres
  • Historic properties (including historic houses, palaces, castles, forts, historic monuments, archaeological sites, historic ships, windmills, watermills and other historic properties)
  • Museums, art galleries and science centres
  • Places of worship (cathedrals, churches when visited specifically as a visitor attraction, not as a place of regular worship)
  • Steam/heritage railways
  • Theme parks
  • Zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • More visitors drawn to attractions
              • Figure 1: Forecast of trends in visits to UK visitor attractions, 2012-22
            • English attractions take lion’s share of visits
              • Figure 2: Share of visits to UK visitor attractions, by nation, 2016
            • Time-poor tourists make tough choices
              • Figure 3: Volume of inbound holiday visits by overseas visitors to the UK, 2012-16
            • The consumer
              • Attractions market offers something for everyone
                • Figure 4: Types of attractions visited, September 2017
              • Day trips dominate
                • Figure 5: Occasions for attraction visiting, September 2017
              • Attraction visiting is a family business
                • Figure 6: People visited attractions with, September 2017
              • Visitors ready to refuel
                • Figure 7: Attraction visiting activities, September 2017
              • Technology relieves pain before adding to pleasure
                • Figure 8: Interest in premium attraction visiting services, September 2017
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • Can attractions have too much technology?
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Rise of pop culture can bring in the brands
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • More visitors drawn to attractions
                              • Embracing the great outdoors
                                • Time-poor tourists make tough choices
                                  • New attractions offer food and thought
                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                    • Attractions appeal to more visitors
                                      • Figure 9: Trends in visits to UK visitor attractions, 2012-22
                                    • Forecast
                                        • Figure 10: Forecast of trends in visits to UK visitor attractions, 2012-22
                                      • Forecast methodology
                                      • Market Segmentation

                                        • Lion’s share for England
                                            • Figure 11: Share of visits to UK visitor attractions, by nation, 2016
                                          • Visitors attracted outdoors
                                              • Figure 12: Attraction visiting trends in England, by attraction category, 2015-16
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • Day trippers back for more
                                                • Figure 13: Tourism day visits, 2011-16
                                              • Tourists here for a good time, not a long time
                                                  • Figure 14: Volume of inbound holiday visits by overseas visitors to the UK, 2012-16
                                                • Pressures on budgets
                                                    • Figure 15: Local government spending on museums in England, 2010/11-2015/16
                                                  • Demand forecasts guided by climate change
                                                    • Figure 16: Variation from historic average* of UK sunshine hours and rainfall, 2012-16
                                                  • Technology adds to the experience
                                                  • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                    • Zoos and hotels lead investment cycle
                                                      • Food for thought
                                                        • Leftfield enters the mainstream
                                                          • Culture goes pop
                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Something for everyone
                                                              • We like a day out
                                                                • Families first and friendships to build on
                                                                  • No empty stomachs on a full day out
                                                                    • Well worth (avoiding) the wait
                                                                    • Attractions Visited

                                                                      • Three out of four have visited
                                                                        • Figure 17: Types of attractions visited, September 2017
                                                                      • Visitors know what they like
                                                                          • Figure 18: Repertoires of types of attractions visited, September 2017
                                                                      • Occasions for Attraction Visiting

                                                                        • Getting away for the day
                                                                            • Figure 19: Occasions for attraction visiting, September 2017
                                                                          • Niche venues attractive to the dating game
                                                                              • Figure 20: Attractions visited on a date, September 2017
                                                                          • Attraction Visiting Companions

                                                                            • It’s a family affair
                                                                                • Figure 21: People visited attractions with, September 2017
                                                                              • Mum’s the word on visiting decisions
                                                                                  • Figure 22: Experience of visiting attractions with family members, by gender, September 2017
                                                                              • Visit Activities

                                                                                • Grazing at the zoo
                                                                                    • Figure 23: Attraction visiting activities, September 2017
                                                                                  • Day trippers and tourists watch their wallets
                                                                                      • Figure 24: Non-participation in visitor attraction activities, by occasions for visiting, September 2017
                                                                                    • Women more willing to share
                                                                                      • Figure 25: Sharing experience of attraction visiting, by gender, September 2017
                                                                                  • Interest in Premium Services

                                                                                    • Pain relief v added attractions
                                                                                        • Figure 26: Interest in premium attraction visiting services, September 2017
                                                                                      • Interactive guides – Don’t ask Siri
                                                                                          • Figure 27: Interest in experts and smartphone apps as a guide to an attraction, by age, September 2017
                                                                                      • Appendix

                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                            • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                • Figure 28: Forecast of trends in visits to UK visitor attractions, 2017-2022