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VisitEngland Annual Attractions Survey 2015 shows big increase in visitor numbers to Nottinghamshire attractions

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Visitor numbers at many of Nottinghamshire’s attractions have increased year-on-year, according to figures released by VisitEngland in the Annual Attractions Survey for 2015.

The national survey, which records visits to attractions across England in each calendar year, is used as a benchmark for the popularity of England’s visitor attractions.

The latest results show the East Midlands region, along with the West Midlands and the South West, had the biggest increase in visitor numbers in 2015 – up 6% on the previous year.

Four of Nottinghamshire’s attractions – Rufford Abbey & Country Park; Sherwood Forest Country Park; Wollaton Hall and Park and the Attenborough Nature Centre – topped the list of the most visited free attractions in the East Midlands in 2015.

Nottingham Castle; Newstead Abbey; Go Ape! Tree Top Adventure – Sherwood; Clumber Park; and The Workhouse are all among the top twenty paid for attractions in the East Midlands.

The Nottinghamshire attractions to show the biggest increase in visitor numbers this year include Stonebridge City Farm (up 25%); The Workhouse, Southwell (up 24.8%); Newstead Abbey (up 24.3%); Mr Straw’s House (up 14.3%) and City of Caves (up 11.5%).

The national survey showed that England’s gardens, farms and leisure / theme parks have seen the most significant growth in visitor numbers and, in-line with these results, Nottingham’s Stonebridge City Farm, has shot up to the tenth most visited free attraction in the East Midlands.

David Wallace, interim Chief Executive at Marketing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, said:  “The survey reveals an impressive growth in visitor numbers at many of the Nottinghamshire attractions, which is an excellent result.

“We are also delighted to see the number of visitors across the East Midlands region increase by 6% year-on-year – the largest growth in the country, along with the West Midlands and the South West regions, which also saw increases of 6%.

“This is a positive result for attractions across the city and county and comes as a result of the marketing campaigns carried out by Experience Nottinghamshire, and the excellent work done by the attractions themselves.  By working together, we have helped to raise the profile of our many attractions, not just locally but nationally and internationally too.

“Such successes are part of the overall success story for Nottinghamshire’s visitor economy and we are working hard to promote Nottingham and Nottinghamshire as a destination for visitors from around the country and worldwide.”

Stephen Gee, Operations Co-Ordinator at Stonebridge City Farm, said: “Everyone at Stonebridge City Farm in St Ann’s, Nottingham is delighted to hear that the farm has experienced the largest annual percentage increase in visitor numbers during the last year. Staff and volunteers at Stonebridge continue to work hard to promote all of the attractions at the farm as well as developing new ideas which appeal to all ages.

“As a free-to-enter recreational and educational resource the farm offers visitors a true taste of the rural environment within the city and the increase in visitor numbers reflects the value of this which is recognised by the wider community. Local media coverage has been most helpful and encouraging, especially the part played by ‘Experience Nottingham’. We look forward to further expansion in yet another busy and productive year.”

Jacqueline Mooney, Operations Manager at National Trust, said: “We are delighted at the increase in visitor numbers at The Workhouse and Mr Straw’s House. We have worked hard on creating an appeal for families of all ages which includes a variety of new exhibitions and all year round activities. We work hard all year round to keep the offer fresh and ever changing and we feel that has played a big part in the increase in visitors over the last 12 months.”

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “The attractions sector is an integral part of our national tourism offer and plays a crucial role in driving economic growth across all of England’s regions.

“It’s great to see that more people explored the country’s stunning gardens and scenery in 2015, and we will be further highlighting gardens to visitors this year as we celebrate 2016 as the ‘Year of the English Garden’.”

Full details of the VisitEngland Annual Attractions Survey 2015 can be found at: https://www.visitbritain.org/annual-survey-visits-visitor-attractions

Posted on 15 August 2016

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