YORK'S attractions and hotels have attracted record numbers of visitors, tourism bosses have revealed.
Visit York said that in 2013, nine of the city's largest attractions welcomed a total of 2.8 million visitors - the highest recorded figure since its survey began in 2005, when the figure stood at 2.4 million. The number was 18 per cent up on 2012.
Kate McMullen, Head of Visit York, said the figures showed the agency was on track to achieve its aim of creating a billion pound tourism sector for York by 2024.
She said Mallard 75 at the National Railway Museum, Revealing York Minster, Richard III artefacts at the Yorkshire Museum and the popularity of outdoor attractions, such as YorkBoat and Clifford’s Tower during last year’s summer heat wave, had all led to the city’s best attractions figures in almost decade.
The National Railway Museum welcomed the most visitors, a record breaking 900,000, which was 200,000 more than in 2012 and the largest growth in visitor numbers in 2013 of any of the top 20 free museums in England.
York Minster came second with 570,000 visitors and Jorvik Viking Centre was third, with almost 400,000.
Others involved in the survey were the Castle Museum, YorkBoat, York’s Chocolate Story, Clifford’s Tower, the Yorkshire Museum and York Dungeon.
Kate McMullen said: "We’re delighted with these results. The creativity of York’s tourism businesses, our joined up approach to marketing and outstanding events and exhibitions have all contributed to this success story."
Hotels are also celebrating good news, with average hotel room occupancy for 2013 calculated at 79.5 per cent, about 2 per cent higher than 2012.
Occupancy was highest in the summer months, peaking in September at 91 per cent - the highest monthly occupancy level ever recorded in the city and the first time 90 per cent has been exceeded.
Footfall at Visit York’s Information Centre in Museum Street for 2013 was 467,496, compared with 451,898 in 2012, up three per cent.