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01/05/2015

Latest Tourism Intelligence - March 2015 and first quarter of the year (January to March)

March 2015 data reveals a mixed performance for tourism businesses around the city.

Visitor attractions, of all sizes, saw an increased number of visitors through their doors (up by 7%) compared with March 2014, matching growth in city centre footfall (up 11%), sessions on visityork.org (up 22%) and enquiries into the VisitYork4Meetings conference desk (up 48%).

However, there was a dip in hotel room occupancy (-7% to 73%). Average room rates remained strong – on a par with last year (£69.66). Visits to attractions made with a York Pass fell year on year (-18), the number of accommodation bookings made on visityork.org (-43%) and also footfall through the Visit York Information Centre (-7%).

Although national occupancy data for March hasn’t been released at this stage, if we compare York’s January and February figures combined, these show that York’s room occupancy rates were higher than the national average achieved for hotels; which was 62% for the first two months of the year compared to York’s 66%.

Summary for March

• 219,170 visits to attractions - up by 7% year on year
• 3,194 visits to attractions made with a York Pass, or 1.5% of all visits – down 18%
• sessions on visityork.org increased to 177,274 - up 22% - the twelfth consecutive month we have seen a year on year increase
• 31 enquiries to VistYork4meetings– up 48%. Confirmations up by 50% and the value of these confirmations more than doubled
• City centre footfall – up by 11%
• 32,227 visits to Visit York’s Information Centre – down by 7% (overall 2014 was a record year)

Summary for Jan-March (First Quarter)

The pattern seen in the Key Performance Indicators for March is broadly similar to that seen for the whole of the first quarter of the year (January to March), with growth reported for the attractions (up 9% for the three months), sessions on visityork.org (up 16%), conference and event enquiries (up 7%) and city centre footfall (up 14%). Whereas other measures have declined slightly vs Jan-March 2014; hotel room occupancy dipped by 2%, visits to attractions using a York Pass by 3%, number of online bookings made through visityork.org by 34% and footfall through the Visit York Information Centre by 8%. With Easter falling in April this year, it will be interesting to see how this affects the year to date results in our report next month.

To request an overview of tourism performance each month or to find out any more about our Research and Insights, contact Visit York’s Research Executive Zoe Rawson, Email: zr@visityork.org