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Latest Tourism Intelligence - April 2014

April showed gains for all sectors vs April 2013, with particularly strong performances for enquiries taken through Visit York 4 Meetings and footfall in both the Visitor Centre and the city centre.

Visits to our desktop and mobile websites grew by 15%, from 138,331 sessions on in April 2013 to 159,373 in April of this year. Although the number and value of online accommodation bookings had dropped from last April, the total number of nights booked had increased by 8%, achieving our goal of encouraging longer stays. Hotel room occupancy recorded a highest ever room occupancy rate for April, at 85.2% - this is the first time it has exceeded 80% in April. The previous high was 78% in April 2010. To assess the Easter performance we need to compare March and April together, as Easter fell in March in 2013. Combining the data from the two months shows that hotel occupancy and room rates were up by around 9% and 5% respectively, but visits to attractions were slightly down, by just 1%.

January to April 2014 – Year To Date:

  • Hotel room occupancy stands at 75.6% for the year to date, 9% higher than the first 4 months of 2013 (69.5%). Average room rates also increased over the same period, up by 5% to £72.00 (from £68.56).
  • Visits to attractions have grown in comparison with the first 4 months of 2013. There were 761,930 visitors through the doors of our 10 large attractions, 1% more that in the same period in 2013, and 72,179 through the doors of 14 small attractions, 6% more than the start of last year. Several of the small attractions have attributed their increased visitor numbers to opening earlier in the year than previously, with some starting their season for the Residents’ Festival for the first time.
  • After a steady decline in footfall through the city centre for more than a year, it is encouraging to see footfall on Parliament Street picking up again this year to reverse the trend. Footfall on Parliament Street was 13% higher in the first 4 months of this year compared to 2013.
  • Footfall through the Visitor Centre has fared even better and has increased substantially this year, with 25,000 more visitors into the Visitor Centre than at this point last year (132,300 in total, 24% higher than in the 4 months from January to April 2013).
  • Visits to the website (desktop and mobile sites) have grown by 15% from 2013, with 676,184 visits from January to April. The number and value of bookings have also grown, by 18% and 4% respectively, as have the length of the trips booked, so we are achieving our goal of encouraging visitors to stay longer.
  • Conference enquiries are 42% higher than at the start of 2013 (112 enquiries came into the conference desk, vs 79 last year), with the number and value of confirmed enquiries also much higher than last year.

To request an overview of tourism performance each month or to find out any more about our research and insights, please contact Zoe Rawson.