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01/06/2017

Tourism Intelligence – April 2017

April’s highlights on the events calendar included the second York Easter Festival (14 to 17 April) and the re-opening of the JORVIK Viking Centre (8 April), both of which succeeded in bringing people into York to make the most of the city this Easter.

In 2017, footfall on Parliament St exceeded 100,000 people during the York Easter Festival and was 4% higher than for the Easter weekend in 2016. Headcounts conducted at the Activity Tent recorded 8,500 people hosted by Little Vikings over the weekend, with Saturday being the busiest of the 4 days.

JORVIK reopened on the Saturday 8th April and in the first 3 weeks welcomed more than 38,000 visitors through its doors. This figure is equal to an ‘average’ April at JORVIK and so is remarkable given that it wasn’t open for the first week of the month.

Not only did JORVIK see crowds of visitors but many chose to upgrade their ticket to a JORVIK Group PastPort, a multi-attraction ticket giving visitors access to the 4 other attractions within The JORVIK Group, boosting their footfall too.

In fact, visitor numbers to some of the other attractions in the group more than doubled, including the Henry VII Experience at Micklegate Bar (up 109%) as well as the Richard III Experience at Monk Bar and Barley Hall (both up by 124%).

Easter fell late this year (14 to 17 April, compared to 25 to 28 March in 2016), with the full school break being in April. Compared to April 2016, when all of the Easter weekend and most of the school break fell in March, year on year growth was expected for a number of measures. The results for April have confirmed this; with room occupancy up 6%, visits to attractions up 13% and city centre footfall up 9% (all vs April 2016).

To better understand the Easter performance we have taken a look at March and April combined, to make sure both the long weekend and the school holidays are represented in both sets of results for 2017 and 2016.

JORVIK closed in March and April in 2016, but so was the Dungeon, as they both underwent refurbishment. Between them, they delivered an extra 60,000 visitors in these two months in 2017. The good weather in April also encouraged strong visit numbers to our outdoor attractions, and so overall visits to attractions in March and April 2017 were 10% higher than in the same 2 months in 2016.

77% of York’s hotel rooms occupied in March and April 2017, which is an increase of 5% room occupancy when compared with March and April 2016.

City centre footfall across the 2 months increased by 3% and footfall through the Visit York Information Centre was on a par with the same period in 2016.

The drop in conference enquiries in April is likely to be a result of the Easter break, with fewer event organisers making enquiries in the holiday season. In March we saw small growth (of 3%) in enquiries generated by VisitYork4Meetings.

Summary for March 2017
• 73.5% of hotel rooms occupied
• £86.49 average hotel room rate
• 36 conference and event enquiries came in to the VisitYork4Meetings conference desk
• 165,326 visits to attractions
• 3,439 visits to attractions using a York Pass
• 107,406 sessions on www.visityork.org (including on the mobile site)
• 27,314 customers through the Visit York Information Centre

Summary for April 2017
• 80.9% of hotel rooms occupied
• £95.48 average hotel room rate
• 26 conference and event enquiries came in to the VisitYork4Meetings conference desk
• 276,206 visits to attractions
• 10,389 visits to attractions using a York Pass
• 123,915 sessions on www.visityork.org (including on the mobile site)
• 36,171 customers through the Visit York Information Centre

Summary for March and April 2017, combined
NB. In 2016, Easter was on the 25th to 28th March. In 2107, Easter was on the 14th to 17th April. These figures include the bank holiday weekend and the school holiday period in both years,
• 77% of hotel rooms occupied
• 501,442 visits to attractions
• 13,828 visits to attractions using a York Pass
• 231,321 sessions on www.visityork.org (including on the mobile site)
• 63,485 customers through the Visit York Information Centre
• 62 conference and event enquiries came in to the VisitYork4Meetings conference desk

To find out any more about our Research and Insights or for specific tourism intelligence enquiries, contact Make It York’s Research Executive Zoe Rawson Email: zoe.rawson@makeityork.com