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Tourist attractions see fall in visitor numbers
SOME of York and North Yorkshire’s biggest tourist attractions saw a drop in visitor numbers last year in the wake of the wet weather.
The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), announcing its members’ annual visitor figures, said the poor weather was a major factor in falls in numbers across the country, particularly with gardens and outdoor attractions.
A spokeswoman said: “It was the weather rather than the Olympic and Paralympic Games that took its toll on full-year visitor numbers, and of the 30 attractions (nationwide) that saw a double-digit decline – 27 of these were either gardens or outdoor attractions.”
It said the rising cost of petrol and diesel was another factor, which had particularly affected attractions away from urban areas which needed to be visited by car.
The association said Clifford’s Tower in York experienced an 11.7 per cent fall to 103,000 visitors, Castle Howard, near Malton, saw a 9.4 per cent drop to 222,000 and visitor numbers at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, near Ripon, fell by 6.2 per cent to 330,000.
Meanwhile, Whitby Abbey saw a drop of 5.6 per cent to 112,000 and Harewood House, near Wetherby experienced a 25.6 per cent decrease to 186,000.
There were some brighter notes, with the National Railway Museum in York up by 0.6 per cent to 716,000 and RHS Garden Harlow Carr at Harrogate up by 7.9 per cent to 320,000.
The actual figures
Harewood House....186,000 visitors (-25.6%)
Clifford’s Tower....103,000 visitors (-11.7 per cent)
Castle Howard....222,000 visitors (-9.4 per cent)
Fountains Abbey....330,000 visitors (-6.2 per cent) Whitby Abbey....112,000 visitors (-5.6 per cent)
National Railway Museum.... 716,000 visitors (+0.6 per cent)
RHS Harlow Carr.... 320,000 visitors (+7.9 per cent)