Newly published figures for 2020 visitor numbers have revealed the UK attraction hit hardest by the pandemic and associated restrictions. When looking at places with at least 250 thousand visits last year, Edinburgh Castle suffered the largest drop compared to 2019 at -87 percent. Overall, attractions in the country saw a fall of 66 percent.
Bernard Donoghue, Director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, commented: “Our annual figures for 2020 reflect what a devastatingly hard year the Attractions sector and the wider visitor economy faced. Tourism is the UK’s 5th biggest industry and, as these figures show, was hit first, hit hardest and will take the longest to recover.”
Looking ahead, Donoghue says the industry requires more action from the government: "As we approach Easter, one of the economically important times for our members, we continue to question the government’s decision to open non-essential retail but not indoor attractions, who will also miss the May Bank Holiday as well. In the past 14 months, most of our members have been closed for every Bank Holiday, and therefore we continue to ask the government to introduce a new Bank Holiday for 2021 at the end of September to thank the NHS and key workers and help the tourism industry repair our balance sheets."