Latest Visitor Statistics for October

The latest ASVA Visitor Attractions Barometer report – for October 2021 – is now available to view in the Members Area of this site (see top right of the screen).

This latest report provides us with further evidence of how the industry is faring since Scotland moved ‘beyond level 0’ in August. It is very clear that, despite the fact most restrictions on visitor numbers and travel have been lifted, there has yet to be a wholescale recovery of the attractions sector. 

There are a number of factors which would help explain why this is the case. Firstly, many attracions continue to operate with covid mitigating measures which do limit visitor numbers, despite the fact that they are not mandated to do so by law. In our sector wide survey in September, two thirds of the sector indicated that they are still operating with measures such as timed entry and physical distancing, to further reassure the public, and indeed staff, about their safety when on-site.  We also know that, although it is getting better, consumer confidence regarding visiting indoor attractions in particular is still relatively low. On top of this, we have yet to see the return of international visitors in any significant numbers, and indeed current predictions are that we will not see these visitors return in significant numbers for some time to come.

As a result, the overall picture for October was very similar to that reported on in September. Overall visitor numbers across ASVA member attractions were down 39.2% on pre-covid levels in 2019, a slight upturn of 3% on last month. The year to date figure sees the sector down 65.6% on 2019, further emphasising the point that 2021 is still very much a year of survival, not recovery, for our sector.   Of course, as was observed in September, there are pockets of the sector where things are looking considerably better. Those operating in outdoor environments have, as would be expected, seen visitor numbers at closer to pre-pandemic levels than those who primarily operate in the indoor environment, although for the most part even in outdoor environments these numbers are between 20%-35% down on 2019.

The data from this month confirms that our sector is yet to recover from the impacts of the pandemic. This data will be used by ASVA to ensure that the Scottish Government and other key stakeholders are fully aware of the challenging conditions we continue to operate under as we enter the traditionally quiet winter period.