Record breaking year for York tourism announced

The city’s attractions and hotels attracted record numbers of visitors last year with the National Railway Museum seeing a huge jump in visitors

Kirkgate at the Castle Museum

Clifford’s Tower proved popular during last summer’s good weather

Jorvik Viking Centre got nearly 400,000 visitors last year

First published in News
Last updated
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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.

Comments (11)

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12:38pm Tue 19 Aug 14

CaroleBaines says...

Excellent news - this city is so reliant on tourism now. Those who moan about work required to keep York looking good might want to remember that.
Excellent news - this city is so reliant on tourism now. Those who moan about work required to keep York looking good might want to remember that. CaroleBaines
  • Score: 13

1:03pm Tue 19 Aug 14

MistressMiddlethorpe says...

Good news, though 2012 was appalling due to so many overseas tourists avoiding Britain and therefore, York because of the Olympics, so one would naturally expect an improvement on 2012 figures. I would like to see previous years' figures for comparison purposes.
Good news, though 2012 was appalling due to so many overseas tourists avoiding Britain and therefore, York because of the Olympics, so one would naturally expect an improvement on 2012 figures. I would like to see previous years' figures for comparison purposes. MistressMiddlethorpe
  • Score: 2

2:07pm Tue 19 Aug 14

cogitationes meae says...

I dearly hope that the new Tourism Partnership is proud of these figures and decides to reward the Tourism Industry in the city with some long overdue core investment. It is urgently needed not only to increase the current meagre budget for global marketing of the city but also to greatly improve the visitor experience.
Funding should be considered to bring Reinvigorate York projects, as announced earlier this year, building on the superb Minster Piazza area, and some of the inspired "city beautiful" plans contained in the Simpson Report, to fruition. It should also look to improve the visitor experience with digital and fixed multi-lingual signage, improved street- cleaning regimes ....... and more loos , to name but a few!

York Tourism is not only the second biggest employer in the city. It contributes hugely to York's economy, yet remains grossly under-funded, supported predominantly by private businesses and their membership fees.

It will continue to slip down the world's top tourist destinaton leagues unless funding is forthcoming, and now is the perfect time, building on the phenomenal exposure generated by the Olympics and this year's Grand Depart
If any other York sector can match Tourism's performance over the last five years- through economic thicks and thins- then I'd love to hear of it.
I dearly hope that the new Tourism Partnership is proud of these figures and decides to reward the Tourism Industry in the city with some long overdue core investment. It is urgently needed not only to increase the current meagre budget for global marketing of the city but also to greatly improve the visitor experience. Funding should be considered to bring Reinvigorate York projects, as announced earlier this year, building on the superb Minster Piazza area, and some of the inspired "city beautiful" plans contained in the Simpson Report, to fruition. It should also look to improve the visitor experience with digital and fixed multi-lingual signage, improved street- cleaning regimes ....... and more loos , to name but a few! York Tourism is not only the second biggest employer in the city. It contributes hugely to York's economy, yet remains grossly under-funded, supported predominantly by private businesses and their membership fees. It will continue to slip down the world's top tourist destinaton leagues unless funding is forthcoming, and now is the perfect time, building on the phenomenal exposure generated by the Olympics and this year's Grand Depart If any other York sector can match Tourism's performance over the last five years- through economic thicks and thins- then I'd love to hear of it. cogitationes meae
  • Score: 7

2:09pm Tue 19 Aug 14

bloodaxe says...

Good news. Tourism is big business and York ( and Welcome to Yorkshire) do it brilliantly.
Good news. Tourism is big business and York ( and Welcome to Yorkshire) do it brilliantly. bloodaxe
  • Score: 6

2:21pm Tue 19 Aug 14

bloodaxe says...

cogitationes meae wrote:
I dearly hope that the new Tourism Partnership is proud of these figures and decides to reward the Tourism Industry in the city with some long overdue core investment. It is urgently needed not only to increase the current meagre budget for global marketing of the city but also to greatly improve the visitor experience.
Funding should be considered to bring Reinvigorate York projects, as announced earlier this year, building on the superb Minster Piazza area, and some of the inspired "city beautiful" plans contained in the Simpson Report, to fruition. It should also look to improve the visitor experience with digital and fixed multi-lingual signage, improved street- cleaning regimes ....... and more loos , to name but a few!

York Tourism is not only the second biggest employer in the city. It contributes hugely to York's economy, yet remains grossly under-funded, supported predominantly by private businesses and their membership fees.

It will continue to slip down the world's top tourist destinaton leagues unless funding is forthcoming, and now is the perfect time, building on the phenomenal exposure generated by the Olympics and this year's Grand Depart
If any other York sector can match Tourism's performance over the last five years- through economic thicks and thins- then I'd love to hear of it.
However, though poorly funded, as you say, Welcome to Yorkshire frequently beats the massively better funded Visit Scotland in international comparisons and York is the city-jewel in the crown. As for the funding for street cleaning etc., Mr Pickles and his cuts-obsessed cabinet colleagues may have more say than anyone else about local government subventions. Interesting that in the Lonely Planet World Cities book York is well within the top 100. You're absolutely correct though that the City cannot rest on its laurels. However in the last five years the appearance of the city has improved remarkably; though some would decry public "vanity projects" they are exactly the sort of thing which visitors (and many residents) appreciate. Good to see a thirty yard queue to get into the Minster one day this week !
[quote][p][bold]cogitationes meae[/bold] wrote: I dearly hope that the new Tourism Partnership is proud of these figures and decides to reward the Tourism Industry in the city with some long overdue core investment. It is urgently needed not only to increase the current meagre budget for global marketing of the city but also to greatly improve the visitor experience. Funding should be considered to bring Reinvigorate York projects, as announced earlier this year, building on the superb Minster Piazza area, and some of the inspired "city beautiful" plans contained in the Simpson Report, to fruition. It should also look to improve the visitor experience with digital and fixed multi-lingual signage, improved street- cleaning regimes ....... and more loos , to name but a few! York Tourism is not only the second biggest employer in the city. It contributes hugely to York's economy, yet remains grossly under-funded, supported predominantly by private businesses and their membership fees. It will continue to slip down the world's top tourist destinaton leagues unless funding is forthcoming, and now is the perfect time, building on the phenomenal exposure generated by the Olympics and this year's Grand Depart If any other York sector can match Tourism's performance over the last five years- through economic thicks and thins- then I'd love to hear of it.[/p][/quote]However, though poorly funded, as you say, Welcome to Yorkshire frequently beats the massively better funded Visit Scotland in international comparisons and York is the city-jewel in the crown. As for the funding for street cleaning etc., Mr Pickles and his cuts-obsessed cabinet colleagues may have more say than anyone else about local government subventions. Interesting that in the Lonely Planet World Cities book York is well within the top 100. You're absolutely correct though that the City cannot rest on its laurels. However in the last five years the appearance of the city has improved remarkably; though some would decry public "vanity projects" they are exactly the sort of thing which visitors (and many residents) appreciate. Good to see a thirty yard queue to get into the Minster one day this week ! bloodaxe
  • Score: 20

2:29pm Tue 19 Aug 14

jaycee says...

Sorry bloodaxe don't think the Minster is a vanity project or is JA claiming the credit for it !!
Sorry bloodaxe don't think the Minster is a vanity project or is JA claiming the credit for it !! jaycee
  • Score: -5

5:03pm Tue 19 Aug 14

yorkandproud says...

Changing the subject , because comments are not allowed on travellers article. I got a ticket for parking on the pavement in York, and paid a fine.These caravans are breaking the law by parking on the pavement . Is there one law for residents and one law for travellers. Are the police frightened of upsetting them. Come on NY Police, do your job.
Changing the subject , because comments are not allowed on travellers article. I got a ticket for parking on the pavement in York, and paid a fine.These caravans are breaking the law by parking on the pavement . Is there one law for residents and one law for travellers. Are the police frightened of upsetting them. Come on NY Police, do your job. yorkandproud
  • Score: -6

5:05pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Caecilius says...

So the figures indicate that the closure of Lendal Bridge didn't deter visitors from coming to York, just as the footfall figures showed that there were more potential customers passing the doors of city centre businesses than there had been during the corresponding period the previous year. But hey, who's interested in actual evidence?
So the figures indicate that the closure of Lendal Bridge didn't deter visitors from coming to York, just as the footfall figures showed that there were more potential customers passing the doors of city centre businesses than there had been during the corresponding period the previous year. But hey, who's interested in actual evidence? Caecilius
  • Score: 16

10:20pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Jack Ham says...

bloodaxe wrote:
cogitationes meae wrote:
I dearly hope that the new Tourism Partnership is proud of these figures and decides to reward the Tourism Industry in the city with some long overdue core investment. It is urgently needed not only to increase the current meagre budget for global marketing of the city but also to greatly improve the visitor experience.
Funding should be considered to bring Reinvigorate York projects, as announced earlier this year, building on the superb Minster Piazza area, and some of the inspired "city beautiful" plans contained in the Simpson Report, to fruition. It should also look to improve the visitor experience with digital and fixed multi-lingual signage, improved street- cleaning regimes ....... and more loos , to name but a few!

York Tourism is not only the second biggest employer in the city. It contributes hugely to York's economy, yet remains grossly under-funded, supported predominantly by private businesses and their membership fees.

It will continue to slip down the world's top tourist destinaton leagues unless funding is forthcoming, and now is the perfect time, building on the phenomenal exposure generated by the Olympics and this year's Grand Depart
If any other York sector can match Tourism's performance over the last five years- through economic thicks and thins- then I'd love to hear of it.
However, though poorly funded, as you say, Welcome to Yorkshire frequently beats the massively better funded Visit Scotland in international comparisons and York is the city-jewel in the crown. As for the funding for street cleaning etc., Mr Pickles and his cuts-obsessed cabinet colleagues may have more say than anyone else about local government subventions. Interesting that in the Lonely Planet World Cities book York is well within the top 100. You're absolutely correct though that the City cannot rest on its laurels. However in the last five years the appearance of the city has improved remarkably; though some would decry public "vanity projects" they are exactly the sort of thing which visitors (and many residents) appreciate. Good to see a thirty yard queue to get into the Minster one day this week !
1. How much tax payer money goes into Visit York every year?
2. What is the return on that investment?
3. How is CYC assured that return is directly attributable to Visit York?
4. How is CYC assured the data sources are accurate and verified?

I'm sure these must be easy questions for Bloodaxe - after all she does hold the cabinet portfolio for tourism!
[quote][p][bold]bloodaxe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]cogitationes meae[/bold] wrote: I dearly hope that the new Tourism Partnership is proud of these figures and decides to reward the Tourism Industry in the city with some long overdue core investment. It is urgently needed not only to increase the current meagre budget for global marketing of the city but also to greatly improve the visitor experience. Funding should be considered to bring Reinvigorate York projects, as announced earlier this year, building on the superb Minster Piazza area, and some of the inspired "city beautiful" plans contained in the Simpson Report, to fruition. It should also look to improve the visitor experience with digital and fixed multi-lingual signage, improved street- cleaning regimes ....... and more loos , to name but a few! York Tourism is not only the second biggest employer in the city. It contributes hugely to York's economy, yet remains grossly under-funded, supported predominantly by private businesses and their membership fees. It will continue to slip down the world's top tourist destinaton leagues unless funding is forthcoming, and now is the perfect time, building on the phenomenal exposure generated by the Olympics and this year's Grand Depart If any other York sector can match Tourism's performance over the last five years- through economic thicks and thins- then I'd love to hear of it.[/p][/quote]However, though poorly funded, as you say, Welcome to Yorkshire frequently beats the massively better funded Visit Scotland in international comparisons and York is the city-jewel in the crown. As for the funding for street cleaning etc., Mr Pickles and his cuts-obsessed cabinet colleagues may have more say than anyone else about local government subventions. Interesting that in the Lonely Planet World Cities book York is well within the top 100. You're absolutely correct though that the City cannot rest on its laurels. However in the last five years the appearance of the city has improved remarkably; though some would decry public "vanity projects" they are exactly the sort of thing which visitors (and many residents) appreciate. Good to see a thirty yard queue to get into the Minster one day this week ![/p][/quote]1. How much tax payer money goes into Visit York every year? 2. What is the return on that investment? 3. How is CYC assured that return is directly attributable to Visit York? 4. How is CYC assured the data sources are accurate and verified? I'm sure these must be easy questions for Bloodaxe - after all she does hold the cabinet portfolio for tourism! Jack Ham
  • Score: -49

10:40pm Tue 19 Aug 14

cogitationes meae says...

bloodaxe wrote:
cogitationes meae wrote:
I dearly hope that the new Tourism Partnership is proud of these figures and decides to reward the Tourism Industry in the city with some long overdue core investment. It is urgently needed not only to increase the current meagre budget for global marketing of the city but also to greatly improve the visitor experience.
Funding should be considered to bring Reinvigorate York projects, as announced earlier this year, building on the superb Minster Piazza area, and some of the inspired "city beautiful" plans contained in the Simpson Report, to fruition. It should also look to improve the visitor experience with digital and fixed multi-lingual signage, improved street- cleaning regimes ....... and more loos , to name but a few!

York Tourism is not only the second biggest employer in the city. It contributes hugely to York's economy, yet remains grossly under-funded, supported predominantly by private businesses and their membership fees.

It will continue to slip down the world's top tourist destinaton leagues unless funding is forthcoming, and now is the perfect time, building on the phenomenal exposure generated by the Olympics and this year's Grand Depart
If any other York sector can match Tourism's performance over the last five years- through economic thicks and thins- then I'd love to hear of it.
However, though poorly funded, as you say, Welcome to Yorkshire frequently beats the massively better funded Visit Scotland in international comparisons and York is the city-jewel in the crown. As for the funding for street cleaning etc., Mr Pickles and his cuts-obsessed cabinet colleagues may have more say than anyone else about local government subventions. Interesting that in the Lonely Planet World Cities book York is well within the top 100. You're absolutely correct though that the City cannot rest on its laurels. However in the last five years the appearance of the city has improved remarkably; though some would decry public "vanity projects" they are exactly the sort of thing which visitors (and many residents) appreciate. Good to see a thirty yard queue to get into the Minster one day this week !
Your observations and comments are spot-on but local govt can circumvent all restrictions if they have the will.

When one visits other cities, Venice, Florence, Barcelona et al, one can't fail but see how much " smarter" and cohesive their "tourism offer" is.
York has the potential to be in this league

The city has made quantum leaps and is now able to hold its head high culturally (for all), a dimension that was missing until about 10 years ago- but it needs investment to break through into the premier league and become a worldwide " must see" destination.

CYC as part of the new Partnership has a great opportunity to grasp the nettle.
[quote][p][bold]bloodaxe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]cogitationes meae[/bold] wrote: I dearly hope that the new Tourism Partnership is proud of these figures and decides to reward the Tourism Industry in the city with some long overdue core investment. It is urgently needed not only to increase the current meagre budget for global marketing of the city but also to greatly improve the visitor experience. Funding should be considered to bring Reinvigorate York projects, as announced earlier this year, building on the superb Minster Piazza area, and some of the inspired "city beautiful" plans contained in the Simpson Report, to fruition. It should also look to improve the visitor experience with digital and fixed multi-lingual signage, improved street- cleaning regimes ....... and more loos , to name but a few! York Tourism is not only the second biggest employer in the city. It contributes hugely to York's economy, yet remains grossly under-funded, supported predominantly by private businesses and their membership fees. It will continue to slip down the world's top tourist destinaton leagues unless funding is forthcoming, and now is the perfect time, building on the phenomenal exposure generated by the Olympics and this year's Grand Depart If any other York sector can match Tourism's performance over the last five years- through economic thicks and thins- then I'd love to hear of it.[/p][/quote]However, though poorly funded, as you say, Welcome to Yorkshire frequently beats the massively better funded Visit Scotland in international comparisons and York is the city-jewel in the crown. As for the funding for street cleaning etc., Mr Pickles and his cuts-obsessed cabinet colleagues may have more say than anyone else about local government subventions. Interesting that in the Lonely Planet World Cities book York is well within the top 100. You're absolutely correct though that the City cannot rest on its laurels. However in the last five years the appearance of the city has improved remarkably; though some would decry public "vanity projects" they are exactly the sort of thing which visitors (and many residents) appreciate. Good to see a thirty yard queue to get into the Minster one day this week ![/p][/quote]Your observations and comments are spot-on but local govt can circumvent all restrictions if they have the will. When one visits other cities, Venice, Florence, Barcelona et al, one can't fail but see how much " smarter" and cohesive their "tourism offer" is. York has the potential to be in this league The city has made quantum leaps and is now able to hold its head high culturally (for all), a dimension that was missing until about 10 years ago- but it needs investment to break through into the premier league and become a worldwide " must see" destination. CYC as part of the new Partnership has a great opportunity to grasp the nettle. cogitationes meae
  • Score: 4

9:54am Wed 20 Aug 14

Martin true Viking says...

We need an airport, better parking, a re think of park and ride buses to use the railways not the roads and less petty rules and regulations that know at the very soul of the people.
We need an airport, better parking, a re think of park and ride buses to use the railways not the roads and less petty rules and regulations that know at the very soul of the people. Martin true Viking
  • Score: 0

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