2021
9
UK Visitor Attractions Market Report 2021
2021-10-21T04:11:16+01:00
OX1049255
2195
143676
[{"name":"Leisure Time","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/leisure-time"}]
Report
en_GB
“The pandemic is likely to leave a permanent legacy for attractions. There is strong consumer support for retaining some of the COVID safety measures, for capping visitor numbers and for…

UK Visitor Attractions Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

The UK Visitor Attractions market report identifies consumer attitudes towards visitor attractions, historical and cultural attractions, and the impact of COVID-19 on the visitor attractions market in the UK. This market report also covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation, and industry trends for the Visitor Attractions market in the UK.

Current Market Landscape 

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the visitor attractions market, with the majority of attractions closed and people confined to their homes. This saw both attendance numbers and revenue plummet, and even as lockdown ended many restrictions remained in place to limit capacity. The UK Visitor Attractions market is currently segmented into both indoor historic and cultural attractions (eg museums, galleries, castles and heritage centres) and outdoor properties (eg wildlife attractions, gardens and other historic properties)

  • Attendance at UK visitor attractions fell by 65% during 2020, with overseas visitors down by 90%.
  • UK visitor attractions are expected to rise by 91% in 2021, two thirds of pre-pandemic levels.
  • 22% of adults are willing to pay for exclusive online experiences offered by visitor attractions.

While the easing of restrictions has continued into 2021, the impact of the pandemic is expected to last into the longer term. However, the shift towards online offerings and ecommerce platforms has also opened up new opportunities for both brands and attractions to increase visitor engagement and attract them to the core ‘physical’ offering itself. Consumers are also interest in exclusive offerings, such as special previews of exhibitions or ‘behind the scenes’ tours with expert guides.

Future Market Trends in Visitor Attractions

Domestic confidence in out-of-home entertainment and travel is gradually returning. However, indoor attractions are lagging behind outdoor attractions, thanks to continued wariness over crowds, and the return to overseas tourists has only just begun. The visitor attraction market is expected to fully recover by 2024, with consumer appetite for leisure experiences driving a return to growth after that.

There are a number of current risks to the recovery and return to growth of the visitor attractions market, with the rising cost of living impacting paid attractions and secondary spending in areas such as food. Higher energy bills are also adding financial pressures on attraction operators, especially during the winter months. The impact of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is also creating new challenges for the UK’s heritage attractions, but it also opens up various opportunities to tell new and untold stories to embrace new visitors among previously under-represented groups.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Leisure Time market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the visitor attractions market and likely future scenarios.
  • Consumer interest and future potential for visitor attraction types.
  • The legacy of COVID-19 for visitor attractions.
  • The impact of BLM on the historical & cultural attractions sector.
  • Future opportunities in the visitor attractions market.
  • Market segments for visitor attractions.
  • Visitor attractions market growth.

Covered in this report

Attraction Types: Country parks, gardens, heritage and visitor centres, historic properties (historic houses, palaces, castles, forts, historic monuments, archaeological sites, historic ships, windmills, watermills and other historic properties), museums, art galleries, science centres, places of worship (cathedrals, churches), steam railways, heritage railways, theme parks, zooz, wildlife parks, aquariums.

Attractions: Tate Modern, Natural History Museum, British Museum, Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, National Gallery, Chester Zoo, RHS Garden Wisley, V&A South Kensington, Science Museum, Somerset House, Southbank Centre, Horniman Museum and Gardens, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Longleat, Westonbirt National Arboretum, Attingham Park, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, ZSL London Zoo, Tower of London, National Museum of Scotland.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by John Worthington, a leading analyst in the Business sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The pandemic is likely to leave a permanent legacy for attractions. There is strong consumer support for retaining some of the COVID safety measures, for capping visitor numbers and for mandatory pre-booking. Most people expect outdoor attractions to remain more popular than indoor.

John Worthington
Senior Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • COVID-19: market context
          • Economic and other assumptions
            • Products covered in this Report
            • Executive Summary

                • Impact of COVID-19 on visitor attractions
                  • Figure 1: Impact of COVID-19 on the visitor attractions market, in short, medium and long term, 2020-25
                • The market
                  • Attraction visits fell 65% in 2020
                    • Recovery is underway but capacity reductions remain and indoor attractions continue to lag behind
                      • Market forecast to return to pre-COVID levels by 2024…
                        • …but different COVID scenarios would impact on visitor attractions
                          • Figure 2: Visits to UK visitor attractions, COVID-19 scenario forecasts, 2016-26
                        • Companies and brands
                          • Combining the real and the virtual
                            • The consumer
                              • Six in 10 adults have visited an attraction in the past 12 months
                                • Figure 3: Percentage of GB adults who visited attractions in the previous 12 months, 2017-21
                              • The year of the garden
                                • Figure 4: Type of attractions visited in the previous 12 months, 2019 and 2021
                              • Pent-up demand for all attraction types
                                • Figure 5: Future expectations about visiting attractions, 2021
                              • Consumers expect COVID to leave a permanent legacy
                                • Figure 6: Attitudes towards visitor attractions after COVID-19, 2021
                              • Cost of living spike will drive budget-conscious behaviour
                                • Figure 7: Interest in ticketing concepts at visitor attractions, 2021
                              • One in five adults would pay for exclusive digital experiences
                                • Figure 8: Participation in online activities at visitor attractions during COVID-19, 2021
                            • Issues and Insights

                              • Attractions and the new localism
                                • Pre-booking creates new opportunities for add-on attraction sales
                                  • Digging deeper on garden tours
                                  • The Market – Key Takeaways

                                    • Attraction visits fell 65% in 2020
                                      • Outdoor exodus has led recovery in 2021 but a winter slowdown is likely
                                        • Cost of living crisis could delay recovery
                                          • Attractions under pressure as VAT rises loom
                                            • Full revival will happen – but not until 2024
                                              • BLM forces change in heritage sector
                                              • Market Size and Performance

                                                • Impact of COVID-19 on visitor attractions
                                                  • Figure 9: Impact of COVID-19 on the visitor attractions market, in short, medium and long term, 2020-25
                                                • Attraction visits were down 65% in 2020
                                                  • Domestic visitors were down 50% and overseas visitors down 90%
                                                    • Figure 10: Visits to UK visitor attractions, 2016-20
                                                • Market Forecast

                                                  • Visits are forecast to reach two thirds of pre-COVID levels in 2021…
                                                    • …but Q4 2021/Q1 2022 are likely to see a slowdown in recovery
                                                      • Visits are expected to return to 2019 levels by 2024
                                                        • Figure 11: Volume forecast for visits to UK visitor attractions, 2016-26
                                                      • Market drivers and assumptions
                                                        • Figure 12: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2016-25
                                                    • COVID-19 Scenario Performance

                                                      • Mintel’s approach to predicting the impact of COVID-19
                                                        • Fundamental differences in how COVID-19 is affecting consumer markets
                                                          • Impact of the COVID scenarios on visitor attractions
                                                            • Figure 13: Visits to UK visitor attractions, COVID-19 scenario forecasts, 2016-26
                                                          • Rapid recovery would unleash pent-up demand for attractions
                                                            • Further disruption would undermine domestic visitor confidence and curtail inbound recovery
                                                            • Market Segmentation

                                                              • Pre-COVID growth for gardens and wildlife attractions has been the base for faster recovery
                                                                • Cultural attractions hit by perfect storm
                                                                  • Figure 14: Attraction admission trends in England, 2016-20
                                                                • Kew Gardens has become the UK’s most popular paid attraction
                                                                  • Over half of the top 20 attractions have outdoor facilities
                                                                    • Figure 15: Top 20 UK visitor attractions, 2020
                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                  • Domestic tourism recovery is gathering pace…
                                                                    • …but inbound tourism is forecast to fall even further in 2021
                                                                      • Figure 16: Domestic and inbound holiday volumes, 2016-21
                                                                    • Concerns over access to culture recovery funding
                                                                      • Financial pressure on attractions will rise in the fourth quarter 2021
                                                                        • Voucher scheme could boost autumn/winter days out
                                                                          • New staycation rail pass to be launched
                                                                            • Cost of living crisis could derail recovery
                                                                              • BLM challenge to the heritage sector
                                                                                • Widespread support for doing more to tell the story of Britain’s colonial past
                                                                                  • Figure 17: Attitudes towards heritage and cultural attractions and colonial history, 2021
                                                                                • BLM challenges institutions to embrace new visitors
                                                                                  • Figure 18: Percentage of adults who have visited cultural and heritage attractions in the past year, by ethnicity, 2019-20
                                                                              • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                                                                • Return to Eden
                                                                                  • Delayed openings begin to arrive
                                                                                    • Augmented attractions
                                                                                      • Virtual exhibitions
                                                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                        • Thirst for the outdoors prompts new green/wildlife attractions
                                                                                          • Postponed launches coming on stream
                                                                                            • Life-size Monopoly
                                                                                              • TV tie-ins
                                                                                                • AR go-karting
                                                                                                  • Immersive Van Gogh
                                                                                                    • Virtual exhibitions and tours
                                                                                                      • Beasts in the living room
                                                                                                        • Down the rabbit hole
                                                                                                          • The future: hybrid attractions and multimedia formats
                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                                                            • Strong platform for recovery
                                                                                                              • Historical & cultural attractions still lagging
                                                                                                                • Short-term opportunity for domestic visitors to iconic London attractions
                                                                                                                  • Legacy of COVID
                                                                                                                    • Cost of living crisis will drive value-seeking visitors
                                                                                                                      • Digital revenue opportunities
                                                                                                                      • Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

                                                                                                                        • Concerns still high despite vaccine roll-out
                                                                                                                            • Figure 19: Level of concern* about COVID-19, 2020-21
                                                                                                                          • Slow improvement in leisure spend
                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Spending on leisure/entertainment, 2020-21
                                                                                                                            • Recovery rates vary by attraction type
                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Participation in leisure activities in the last month, 2019-21
                                                                                                                            • Attraction Visiting in the Last 12 Months

                                                                                                                              • Six in 10 adults have visited attractions in the past 12 months despite decline in attendances
                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Percentage of GB adults who visited attractions in the previous 12 months, 2017-21
                                                                                                                              • COVID staycation trend can provide a long-term boost for attractions
                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Visiting attractions as part of a day trip or holiday in the previous 12 months, 2021
                                                                                                                              • Cities are still the most visited locations for attractions despite rural influx
                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Location of attractions visited in the previous 12 months, 2021
                                                                                                                              • Local catchment areas have risen in importance
                                                                                                                                • Two thirds of visitors have switched to outdoor attractions
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Location of attractions visited in the previous 12 months, 2021
                                                                                                                              • Types of Attraction Visited

                                                                                                                                • Gardens are way ahead as the most popular attraction during COVID
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Type of attractions visited in the previous 12 months, 2019 and 2021
                                                                                                                              • Future Interest in Visiting Attractions

                                                                                                                                • Consumer expectations point to release of pent-up demand
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Future expectations about visiting attractions, 2021
                                                                                                                                • Garden tours can tap into wider green-fingered trends
                                                                                                                                  • Demand for historical/cultural attractions will fully return but the sector faces challenges
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Interest in visiting attraction types in future, 2021
                                                                                                                                  • Views, themed and wildlife attractions have the biggest future growth potential
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Interest in visiting attraction types pre- and post-COVID-19, 2019 and 2021
                                                                                                                                  • Women (and mums) are the key decision-makers to attract
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Interest in visiting attraction types in future, by gender, 2021
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Interest in visiting attraction types in future, by gender of parents, 2021
                                                                                                                                  • Theme parks for older adrenaline junkies
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Interest in visiting attraction types in future, by age, 2021
                                                                                                                                  • Window of opportunity is still open for domestic visitors to London attractions
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Intentions to visit London attractions, 2021
                                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Visiting Attractions

                                                                                                                                  • Legacy of the pandemic
                                                                                                                                    • Visitors want health & safety measures to be made permanent
                                                                                                                                      • Support for long-term capacity limits to improve the quality of the visitor experience
                                                                                                                                        • Nearly half of consumers think pre-booking should remain compulsory
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Attitudes towards visitor attractions after COVID-19, 2021
                                                                                                                                          • Balance may be tilted permanently towards outdoor activity
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Attitudes towards visitor attractions after COVID-19 (cont.), 2021
                                                                                                                                        • Engagement with Online Activities at Visitor Attractions

                                                                                                                                          • 16% of adults have taken part in digital activities at attractions during COVID-19…
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Participation in online activities at visitor attractions during COVID-19, 2021
                                                                                                                                          • …and 42% are interested in future participation
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Interest in future online activities at visitor attractions, 2021
                                                                                                                                          • One in five consumers are willing to pay for exclusive online experiences
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Willingness to pay for online activities at visitor attractions, 2021
                                                                                                                                        • Other Opportunities at Visitor Attractions

                                                                                                                                          • Interest in combined and all-inclusive ticketing as visitors seek value for money
                                                                                                                                            • Almost four in 10 visitors are interested in an annual membership/pass
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Interest in ticketing concepts at visitor attractions, 2021
                                                                                                                                            • Flexible hours suit an increasingly hybrid workforce
                                                                                                                                              • Virtual queuing is here to stay
                                                                                                                                                • Under-35s and parents are the most willing to pay for faster-access tickets
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Interest in queuing concepts and flexible times at visitor attractions, 2021
                                                                                                                                                • A third of visitors are keen on VR/AR experiences at attractions…
                                                                                                                                                  • …but traditional craft experiences are more popular
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Interest in experience concepts at visitor attractions, 2021
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations, and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix: Central Forecast Methodology

                                                                                                                                                        • Market forecast and prediction intervals
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Lower bound, central and upper bound volume forecast for visits to UK attractions, 2021-26
                                                                                                                                                        • Market drivers and assumptions
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2020-25
                                                                                                                                                        • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: COVID-19 Scenario Performance Methodology and Assumptions

                                                                                                                                                          • Scenario performance
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: COVID-19 scenario forecasts for the volume forecast for visits to UK attractions, 2016-26
                                                                                                                                                          • Rapid COVID-19 recovery, central and extended COVID-19 disruption scenarios outline
                                                                                                                                                            • Scenario methodology

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