A YORK-based visitor attraction company says it is expecting sales to top £5 million for its latest soap opera based tour.

Continuum has predicted its new attraction 'Coronation Street: The Tour' in Manchster, will see around 12,000 people a week visiting the former ITV studio site over the next six months.

With more than half the 300,000 tickets for the attraction pre-sold, Continuum is looking at whether more capacity can be released to meet the massive demand for tickets.

The predicted visitor numbers would take ‘Coronation Street: The Tour’ into the top 20 highest-grossing visitor attractions in the UK in 2014.

The tour opened last weekend, with more than 3,000 people taking to the ITV soap’s famous cobbles at the former studio site in Quay Street, Manchester.

Juliana Delaney, chief executive of Continuum, said: “It’s sensational for a visitor attraction to open with such high pre-bookings – clearly the ‘Corrie’ brand is powerful and popular. Even so, the public’s response has exceeded expectations.

“More than half of the total tickets have already been sold, and only a handful of attractions, such as The Making of Harry Potter or the David Bowie exhibition at the V&A, have had such high interest prior to the doors being opened.

“This success demonstrates there is significant commercial value yet to be mined in the breadth of Britain’s culture, old and new.”

Thirty years ago, the privately-owned Continuum was behind the development of the Jorvik Centre in York and has helped create more than 100 visitor attractions worldwide over the past 30 years.

From its based in Margaret Street, the business currently operates seven cultural attractions across the UK, including York’s Chocolate Story, the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth and The Real Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh.

The group has a turnover of approximately £8 million and employs more than 300 tourism professionals across its UK sites.

The cultural attractions market is estimated to be worth around £1 billion a year to the UK economy.