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30/06/2015

Tourism Intelligence – May 2015

It has been a challenge to repeat the record performances of May 2014 and although many our measures didn’t reach the highs that we saw then, figures have remained on a par with the average for this time of year.

Attractions had 6% fewer visits than in May 2014 (which was a record May) but equal to the number of visits seen in the previous May. Overall visits to attractions for the year to date are 2% higher than for the same period last year.

Looking back to May last year, we saw several record performances for a variety of the measures, including the highest ever May figures since our surveys began for hotel room occupancy and visits to the big attractions, and the highest footfall recorded on Parliament Street in May since 2009.

The trend in 2015 for attractions is mirrored by city centre footfall, which reached a 5 year peak in May 2014 and is now above average but 4% below last year’s peak.

The year to date footfall count for January to May 2015 is 2% above the first five months of 2014.

Trends that we have seen for a number of months are ongoing; incoming conference enquiries are up again for the fifth month in a row, while sessions on visityork.org, online accommodation bookings made on the website and footfall through the Visitor Information Centre continued to show declining scores.

However, It is interesting to note that as a result of the increased use of smartphones and other mobile devices (in the UK, access to the internet with a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2014) we are seeing a growth in the proportion of people accessing our website using their smartphone or a tablet – traffic to visityork.org from mobile devices is over 20% higher than at this time last year.

Hotels have provided us with the most positive news of the month; with average room rates reaching the highest value recorded in any May since our hotel survey began in 2007. The average room rate was £84.57 in May this year, 1% higher than the equivalent figure for May last year which was the previous May high. Although the average room occupancy was 3% lower than in May 2014 (when we reported a monthly record), at 78.1%, it is very close to the average figure recorded in May over the years.

Summary for May

  • 277,168 visits to attractions, down by 6% year on year
  •  5,630 visits to attractions made with a York Pass, or 2% of all attraction visits
  •  Hotel room occupancy 3% lower than May 2014, at 78.1%
  •  Average room rates 1% up year on year, to £84.57
  • 136,209 sessions on visityork.org, down 9% year on year
  •  Ave length of stay booked on visityork.org 4% higher than in May 2014
  •  28 enquiries coming in to the VisitYork4Meetings conference desk, up by a third
  • City centre footfall down by 4%
  • 36,317 visits to the Visit York Information Centre, down by 17%

To request an overview of tourism performance each month or to find out any more about our Research and Insights, contact Make It York’s Research Executive Zoe Rawson, Email: zoe.rawson@makeityork.com