2021 End of Year Visitor Attractions Report is published

The ASVA Visitor Attractions Monitor 2021 End of Year Report, and additional annex, are both now available. These provide members with details of visitor figures for 2021, compared to both 2020 and 2019, as well as a wealth of additional information for the year including:

  • Visitor profile information
  • Adult and child visitation
  • Average spend
  • Web & social media activity
  • Quarterly and monthly visitation patterns
  • Regional breakdowns

The reports show that whilst 2021 was perhaps not quite as catastrophic a year for our industry as 2020 was – with overall visitor numbers to ASVA attractions improving by almost 50% on that year – it remained a hugely challenging year for virtually all types of attractions.

When we examine the 2021 figures against those of 2019, the last year without COVID disruptions, it very quickly becomes obvious that there was little to no actually recovery. Overall visitor numbers to ASVA attractions in 2021 were a colossal 62.2% down on those reported in 2019 (and for context the 2020 figures were down by 74.1% from 2019). Of course, this will be of no surprise to anyone in any way connected to our sector. 2021 was a year, in many ways, of even greater hardship than 2020, with significant restrictions in place right through the main season and yet fewer funding opportunities and rescue measures offered by both the Scottish and UK Governments. It is a testament to the remarkable resilience and adaptability of our sector that we did not see many of our members go to the wall – such was the enormity of challenges faced.

It is perhaps worth noting however, that whilst visitor numbers remained relatively low for the majority of attractions, visitors who did attend venues seemed very willing to put their hands in their pockets. Average visitor spend on retail in 2021 was £2.27 per visit, as opposed to £1.96 in 2019, and the average spend in catering was £2.23, up from a more modest £1.40 in 2019. Of course, this would have been due in part to pent-up demand, whereby after months of not being able to spend money, there was a bit of release from visitors when they could do so once again. The fact, however, that visitors have had more space when visiting attractions, more time to get immersed in their experiences and more interactions with the wonderful staff working at our venues, will undoubtedly have had an effect too. The more visitors enjoy their experience, the more likely it will be that they will be inclined to spend that bit more during their visit.

Both the end of year report and the annex can be viewed in the Statistics, Surveys & Research section of the Members Area of the ASVA website.