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Visitor Attractions - UK - November 2018

“A long, hot summer gave welcome impetus to the UK visitor attractions market in 2018, but it is the economic climate that remains the strongest determinant of the sector’s size and shape, particularly through its influence on consumers’ holiday choices.”

– David Walmsley, Senior Leisure Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • How can attractions gain profile in the short break market?
  • How can food and drink get back on the menu?

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Home-grown holidaymakers swell the crowds
              • Figure 1: Visits to UK visitor attractions, 2013-23
            • Nations and regions outpace the capital
              • Figure 2: Share of visits to UK visitor attractions, by nation, 2017
            • Attractions react to changing tourism trends
              • Figure 3: Tourism day visits on which visiting an attraction is the main activity, 2013-17
            • The consumer
              • Historic attractions retain traditional appeal
                • Figure 4: Types of attractions visited, September 2017 and August 2018
              • Something for the weekend?
                • Figure 5: Advance planning of attraction visits, August 2018
              • Visitors’ car habit looks hard to break
                • Figure 6: Main modes of transport used to travel to visitor attractions, August 2018
              • Cost consciousness drives decision-making
                • Figure 7: Influences on choice of attraction visited, August 2018
              • Crowds and catering leave visitors vexed
                • Figure 8: Attitudes towards visitor attractions, August 2018
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • How can attractions gain profile in the short break market?
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • How can food and drink get back on the menu?
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • Market makes hay while sun shines
                              • Capital downturn brakes English growth
                                • Day visits down as staycation trend is extended
                                  • More attractions to visit
                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                    • Visitor numbers grow in the sun
                                      • Figure 9: Visits to UK visitor attractions, 2013-23
                                    • Forecast
                                      • Figure 10: Forecast of visits to UK visitor attractions, 2013-23
                                    • Forecast methodology
                                    • Market Segmentation

                                      • Capital threat slows English growth
                                          • Figure 11: Share of visits to UK visitor attractions, by nation, 2017
                                        • Attraction visitors rekindle passion for the past
                                            • Figure 12: Attraction visiting trends in England, 2016-17
                                        • Market Drivers

                                          • Staycations put squeeze on day visiting
                                              • Figure 13: Tourism day visits on which visiting an attraction is the main activity, 2013-17
                                            • Tourists need more targeting
                                                • Figure 14: Volume of inbound holiday visits by overseas visitors to the UK, 2013-17
                                              • Public sector attractions remain under funding pressure
                                                  • Figure 15: Heritage Lottery Fund dispersed grants, 2016/17-2018/19
                                                • Attractions outlook proves weather-dependent
                                                    • Figure 16: Variation from historic average* of annual UK sunshine hours and rainfall, 2013-17
                                                  • Attractions augmented by new tech realities
                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                    • V&A designs a future beyond the capital
                                                      • Theme parks roll out new coasters
                                                        • New attractions look to the stars
                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                          • V&A heads north
                                                            • Theme parks ready with new rides
                                                              • Accessibility standards focus on dementia
                                                                • New zoo concept brings down fences
                                                                  • Celebrity sells
                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                    • Historic attractions retain traditional appeal
                                                                      • Something for the weekend?
                                                                        • Travel by car the default choice
                                                                          • Cost consciousness drives decision-making
                                                                            • Crowds and catering leave visitors vexed
                                                                            • Attractions Visited

                                                                              • Visitors retain their sense of history
                                                                                • Figure 17: Types of attractions visited, September 2017 and August 2018
                                                                              • Families grow out of visiting habit
                                                                                  • Figure 18: Change in attraction visiting rates, by age, socio-economic status and gross household income, September 2017-August 2018
                                                                              • Visit Planning

                                                                                • A midweek window to promote weekend visiting
                                                                                    • Figure 19: Advance planning of attraction visits, August 2018
                                                                                  • We’re all going to the zoo tomorrow (but we started planning last week)
                                                                                      • Figure 20: Advance planning of attraction visiting, by last attraction visited, August 2018
                                                                                  • Travelling to Attractions

                                                                                    • Visitors’ car habit looks difficult to break
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Main modes of transport used to travel to visitor attractions, August 2018
                                                                                      • Visitors in it for the long-haul
                                                                                          • Figure 22: Time spent travelling to visitor attractions, August 2018
                                                                                      • Influences on Visiting

                                                                                        • Value for visitors can give context to cost
                                                                                            • Figure 23: Influences on choice of attraction visited, August 2018
                                                                                          • Food and drink mostly off the menu
                                                                                              • Figure 24: Influence of availability of food and drink on choice of attraction visited, by most recent attraction visited, August 2018
                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Visitor Attractions

                                                                                            • Keeping busy is ok with the younger crowd
                                                                                                • Figure 25: Attitudes towards visitor attractions, August 2018
                                                                                              • Attractions appeal to domestic holidaymakers
                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Attitudes towards visitor attractions and domestic holidaying, by past-year experience of attraction visiting, August 2018
                                                                                              • Appendix

                                                                                                • Data sources
                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                    • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Forecast of visits to UK visitor attractions, 2018-23

                                                                                                    Visitor Attractions - UK - November 2018

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