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25/03/2015

York – Annual Tourism Figures Announced

Year end results for tourism in York for 2014 have been announced today. A key indicator of the health of the tourism sector, this annual research reveals York’s tourism sector is going from strength to strength. The hotel occupancy and visitor attractions surveys revealed 2014 was a record year for hotels and the second best year ever for attractions. Hotel room occupancy and room rates both achieved record annual average scores: 83% of hotel rooms occupied (3% up on 2013) and room rates were recorded at £80.79 (6% up on 2013) respectively.

City centre footfall and footfall through the Visit York Information Centre also saw a record year. And whilst visits to attractions were *5% lower than in 2013 (with 3,057,079 visitors through the doors of York’s attractions, compared to 3,224,708 in 2013), 2014 still remained the second best year recorded for visits to attractions. *2013 was an exceptional year for visits to attractions in York due to the Mallard75 event at the National Railway Museum.

The tourism sector in York ended the year well and in December in particular, with growth compared to December 2013 in hotel room occupancy (up by 5% to 81%) and room rates (up by 6% to £83.60), visits to attractions (up by 4% to 152,283), use of the York Pass (up by 8% to 2,644), city centre footfall (up by 7%) and user sessions on visityork.org (up by 40%). The 2014 research also recorded three consecutive record breaking summer months for hotel room occupancy in July, August and September. York Dungeon reported their best ever Halloween week in 2014 and both Clifford’s Tower and York’s Chocolate Story saw their best ever year too.

Also released today are the results of the annual **Economic Impact Survey (2013) and these results show the following:
• 6.7 million visitors (14% or 917,000 of which are business visits)
• £573 million spend (24% or £140million of which is spend is by business visitors)
• 19,000 jobs
5.8m leisure/holiday visits were made and of these 79% were day visits and 21% were staying overnight (previously 20.4% stayed overnight and 79.6% were day visits). Whilst this percentage shift is small, in real terms this means an additional 11,000 visitors were staying overnight.

Other key findings:
Leisure visitors spend per head has increased from: £70 to £75 per trip
Business visitors spend per head has increased from: £146 to £153 per trip

There has been increased spend across all sectors:
1. Food and drink = £120m (up £9m from 2012, 8% growth)
2. Shopping = £107m (up £4m from 2012, 4% growth)
3. Accommodation = £91m (up £6m from 2012, 7% growth)
4. Travel = £74m (up £11m from 2012, 18% growth)
5. Attractions = £41m (up £1m from 2012, 4% growth)

Overseas visits – leisure
230,000 visitors (4% of all leisure/holiday visits) were from overseas – day and overnight stays and 172,000 of these (3 in 4) stayed overnight.

The top ten overseas markets: (leisure visitors only)
US – 18% - 41,400
Australia – 16% - 36,800
France – 7% - 16,100
Germany – 5% - 11,500
Spain – 5% - 11,500
Japan – 5% - 11,500
Netherlands – 4% - 9,200
Canada – 4% - 9,200
New Zealand – 4% - 9,200
China – 3% - 6,900
Other – 29% - 66,700

Kate McMullen, Head of Visit York said, ‘This is fantastic news for our tourism sector. We’re delighted. In 2005 tourism revenue exceeded £300 million for the first time and today we’re well on our way to doubling this figure. We’re extremely fortunate in York to have a thriving tourism sector with a wealth of first class visitor attractions, festivals and superb shopping. Our role is to harness everything that’s good about the city and ensure we spread this message locally, nationally and internationally, putting York firmly on the map for both leisure and business visitors.’ ENDS

Contact: Kay Hyde Head of Communications, Visit York, Tel: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852 Email: kh@visityork.org

Notes To The Editor:
2014 research was carried out using the Cambridge model; a nationally recognised model to calculate the volume and value of tourism.

2014 Business tourism research was carried out by Team Tourism Consulting – the UK Events Market Trends Survey - a national survey

(**New research methods have been used to calculate these results and using the same method retrospectively for the 2012 figures the comparisons would be as follows:

6.7 million visitors – no change
Spend up by £29 million (5.3%) from £544 million to £573 million
Jobs up by 1,000 (5%) from 18,000 to 19,000

Origin of leisure visitors:
UK v Overseas:
UK 96% = 5,536,000
Overseas 4% = 230,000

Origin of UK Visitors:
Yorkshire/Humber 27% = 1,495,000
London/SE/East 21% = 1,163,000
North West 14% = 775,000
Midlands (East/West) 14% = 775,000
North East 9% = 498,000
Scotland 5% = 277,000
South West 4% = 221,000
Wales 2% = 111,000
Other UK 4% = 221,000

Tourism Facts:
• The top five ranked overseas countries visiting York are the USA, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and France. Although there has been some fluctuation in the order of the countries listed, these five have remained consistently high in the rankings. Canada is the only other country to be in the top five more than once in the last five years but has slipped down the rankings more recently. The United States has consistently been the number one overseas market for York for the last ten years.
• Visit York is supported by the City of York Council and over 700 tourism businesses and works in partnership with VisitEngland.
• Visit York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure and business visitor, and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. Visit York is responsible for leisure and conference marketing, visitor services (running the city’s Visitor Information Centre), training and ensuring a quality visitor experience.
• Key facts:
6.7 million visitors annually, £573million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs