February Visitor Numbers to ASVA Attractions available now

The latest ASVA Visitor Attractions Barometer report, for February 2022, is now available to view in the Members Area of our website.

As noted when the first Barometer report of the year was published last month, due to the covid disruptions of the last 2 years, ASVA has decided to produce two reports per month to give you the best possible insights available. This report will compare 2022 figures for February with those of February last year, a year when covid disruption was still very much the norm. As a result, a second report has also been produced, comparing figures from 2022 with those of 2019, the last ‘normal’ year of trading for the sector.

Comparing February 2022 figures to those of February 2021, is virtually meaningless for the majority of attractions, or at least certainly for indoor attractions. For the month of February 2021, most of Scotland remained in Level 4 and therefore virtually all indoor attractions across the country were closed for the entire month. A number of outdoor attrarctions were open, and unsurprisingly, were trading well considering the lack of alternatives venues to attend, but the overall picture was one of ongoing closure and frustration for the sector. Therefore, the fact that visitor numbers in February ‘22 are up by 645% when compared to those of Feb ’21, by no means at all provides us with any indication of the ‘recovery’ of the attractions sector. 

It is only when we analyse the 2022 figures against those of 2019, that we can clearly see to what stage the recovery has started, or indeed if it has truly started at all. Looking at the numbers for February ’22, when compared to those of February ’19, it is immediately obvious that, overall, the sector has some way to go before we can say that we have genuinely entered into a recovery phase.  Overall, across ASVA attractions, visitor figures were down by 37.2% for the month and down 39% for the year to date. This was, of course, a month where omicron nervousness amongst the general public was still relatively and the Scottish Government messaging was still very cautionary when it came to advising the public about going out and undertaking activities, particularly if those activities were indoors. A considerable number of attractions were also maintaining their own covid measures, some of which limited the number of visitors at various sites, and this too undoubtedly is reflected in some of the figures that can be seen in the report.

What can clearly be surmised from the February figures is that we are, at very best, in the very early, very fragile, stages of recovery. In our ongoing dialogue with the Scottish Government and STERG, ASVA will continue to highlight the fragile state the sector is in, as well as the challenging conditions we face impacting on the recovery, including the ever-rising costs of doing business. 

We would encourage all ASVA members to participate in the monthly and annual data collection exercises to ensure we build up as complete a picture as possible of industry performance. If you wish, you can submit your data requesting that your numbers remain confidential. Through our colleagues at Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Development we are currently collecting data from members for the Annual Report and we would urge all members to complete this exercise, as the information you provide greatly strengthens ASVA’s ability to advocate on the sector’s behalf.

For more information, and to ensure that your attraction is included in both the monthly and annual reports, please get in touch with The Moffat Centre’s Hugh Sheridan at or on 0141 273 1611.