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The report monitors trends in the tourism attraction sector for 2018 in order to provide a greater understanding of the sector to both industry and public sector organisations.

Main findings

22.2 million visits were made to attractions taking part in the 2018 survey.  61% of which were to free attractions, and 39% to paid attractions. 

The 23 most popular attractions taking part in the survey accounted for almost half of all visits reported in 2018.

Museums and art galleries and wildlife / nature reserves received the highest shares of all visits (25.4% and 22.2% respectively) compared with other types of attraction. 

Just under half of all visitors to participating attractions were local visitors, with 4 in 10 coming from the rest of the UK, and 1 in 10 from outside the UK.

2017 vs 2018 comparisons

Attractions taking parts in both the 2017 and 2018 survey saw visits increase by 4.4% on average from 2017 to 2018.  Free attractions saw an increase in visits of 9.2%, while visits to paid attractions dropped by 1.4%.

Almost half of all participating attractions reported an increase in gross revenue in 2018 compared to 2017.  Just over one third reported similar gross revenue levels, with the remainder reporting a decrease year on year.

Visits to Natural Resources Wales sites increased by 9.8% year on year, with sizeable increases also evident for privately owned attractions and National Trust properties.

Further information

To take part in future surveys, please contact the tourism research team by email


Visits to tourist attractions, 2018 , file type: PDF, file size: 2 MB

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Joanne Starkey

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