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Tourism Intelligence – December 2016

December tourism business performance was much stronger in 2016 than in 2015, which was adversely affected by flooding.

However, many measures were also above average for this time of year, suggesting that the city is back to full strength.

The Visit York Information Centre reported its best ever December, welcoming almost 28,000 customers through the doors, which is 9% above the number in December 2015 and 11% higher than the average December footfall. This exceeded city centre footfall counts, which showed growth of 4% over December 2015.

York’s hotels also reported their best ever December (since our survey began 10 years ago), with hotel room occupancy reaching 81.5% - the first time it has surpassed 80% in any December. This figure is 11% higher than 2015 and 13% above the December average. Similarly, average room rates grew by 14% year on year and revenue per available room grew by 25%.

Provisional figures from the attractions suggest that visitor numbers in December 2016 were a huge 23% higher than in the previous year, with a good number of attractions holding Christmas themed events and exhibitions that proved to be very popular. Entry to attractions using a York Pass soared by 47% compared to 2015, with 2,275 visits to York’s attractions using a Pass.

Conference and event enquiries picked up again in December 2016, with VisitYork4Meetings generating 27 enquiries (29% more than in December 2015).
Traffic to was slightly lower than at the same time in the previous year (a dip of 1.5%, to 161,625 sessions). Sessions on the mobile site, however, now account for a third of all sessions on, which compares to just 10% at this time last year, and is continuing to grow.

Summary for December 2016:

• 81.5% of hotel rooms occupied
• £101.12 average hotel room rate
• 108,282 visits to attractions (provisional, numbers for York Minster still to be included)
• 2,275 visits to attractions using a York Pass
• 161,625 sessions on, including on the mobile site
• 27 enquiries generated by the VisitYork4Meetings conference desk
• 27,777 customers through the Visit York Information Centre

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: