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Boost for city's visitor attractions
8:38am Thursday 9th August 2012 in News
MORE tourists are visiting York’s tourism businesses, according to the latest figures from Visit York.
The latest York Visitor Survey shows visitors to York’s top eight tourism attractions was up seven per cent in 2011 compared to 2010, at 2.5 million visitors.
In the first six months of 2012, York Designer Outlet’s footfall increased by 2.27 per cent; the National Railway Museum is 17 per cent up with 320,000 visitors, and York Minster has seen a two per cent increase in visitors.
All of the 1,000 people surveyed across the year in the research said they would recommend York, up from 99 per cent in 2010.
The organisation estimates total visitor numbers remain at about seven million, based on hotel occupancy figures which were up 1 per cent, although room rates fell by 1 per cent to £77.98. Occupancy levels are up by four per cent so far in 2012 to 76.3 per cent, with average room rates up one per cent to £75.73.
Most visitors came from the Midlands, followed by the North West, and elsewhere in Yorkshire, while only two per cent came from Wales.
International visitors made up 17 per cent of all visitors, up from 12 per cent in 2010.
Gillian Cruddas, chief executive of Visit York said: “We are delighted to see an upturn in the numbers of our American, Australian and Chinese visitors.
“2011 was a strong year and our first six months of 2012 are showing all the signs of a successful year too.”
Average length of stay increased year on year from 2.74 nights to 3.32 nights, while overseas visitors stayed an average of 5.26 nights.
Twenty-eight per cent of visitors in 2011 arrived by train, up on 22 per cent in 2010; 55 per cent were couples, 37 per cent visited as a family and 12 per cent were travelling alone.
The city is most popular with the 45 to 54 age bracket, which made up 24 per cent of visitors, but it attracted all ages, with 18 per cent aged 16-34.
Asked what they most liked about York, 82 per cent said it was the variety of things to do; 79 per cent liked the ambience and 78 per cent liked the feeling of welcome.
The average visitor spent £38.80, not including accommodation, up from £37 in 2010.