Skip to main content

The report monitors trends in the tourism attraction sector for 2019 and 2020 in order to provide a greater understanding of the sector to both industry and public sector organisations.

Main findings

Approximately 22.3 million visits were made to attractions taking part in the 2019 survey and approximately 6.2 million visits were made to attractions responding to the 2020 survey. 

Operating context

15% of responding attractions did not open at all during 2020. A further 18% opened at some point in the first quarter but then remained closed for the rest of the year. Therefore a third were not open at all between April and December 2020.

Operating capacities were reduced throughout 2020. Only 1 in 10 opened at full capacity, and over half (56%) opened at less than half capacity.

Visits in 2019 and 2020

In 2019 57% were to free attractions, and 43% to paid attractions, similar proportions to 2018. In 2020 59% of visits were to free attractions and 41% to paid attractions.

The 25 most popular attractions taking part in the survey accounted for almost half (49%) of all visits reported in 2019. In 2020 the top 25 attractions accounted for 64%

In 2019 10% of visitors to tourism attractions were from overseas, falling to 3% in 2020. The proportion of visitors from Wales increased from 47% in 2019 to 59% in 2020.

In 2019 museum/art galleries received the largest share of visits (26%), but this fell to 15% in 2020. Wildlife/nature reserves and country parks/gardens increased their share of visits to 45% in 2020 from 26% in 2019.

2019 vs 2020 comparisons

Attractions taking part in both the 2019 and 2020 survey saw visits decrease by 68% on average from 2019 to 2020. Those reporting in both 2018 and 2019 saw no change in visitor numbers.

Underground attractions saw the largest decrease and outdoor attractions the smallest decrease from 2019 to 2020.

Further information

To take part in future surveys, please contact the tourism research team by e-mail


Visits to tourist attractions: 2019 and 2020 , file type: PDF, file size: 4 MB

4 MB
If you need a more accessible version of this document please email Please tell us the format you need. If you use assistive technology please tell us what this is.


Jen Velu

Telephone: 0300 025 0459

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau a gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls and correspondence in Welsh.


Telephone: 0300 025 8099

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh.