Latest Visitor Statistics for September

The latest ASVA Visitor Attractions Barometer report – for September 2021 – is now available to view in the Members Area of this site.

This report provides what is probably the closest we have to genuinely comparable visitor statistics between 2021 and 2019. We say this because September was the first full month since the pandemic first struck where attractions were not required by law to operate with restrictions that inhibited visitor numbers through closures or physical distancing measures.

Of course, this is not to say that attractions did not continue to operate with covid mitigation measures that limited numbers. We know from our sector-wide survey, conducted in September, that, in order to provide the reassurances that many visitors are looking for, more than 92% of attractions maintained some form of covid mitigating measures beyond those required by law, with almost two-thirds of attractions operating with either physical distancing or some other similar measures to limit the number of visitors on-site at any one time. We also did not see the return of international visitors in any significant numbers in September and there was undoubtedly still a considerable degree of caution amongst domestic visitors when it came to visiting indoor spaces.

As a result, whilst September provided conditions as close to pre – pandemic levels as we have yet seen, we have not seen a significant increase in visitor numbers for the month. Overall visitor numbers across ASVA member attractions were down 46.2% on pre-covid levels in 2019. As was observed in August, certain parts of the sector were able to demonstrate more of a recovery than others, with predominately outdoor attractions considerably outperforming their indoor counterparts. As an example, Wildlife/Animal Attractions were actually up by 8.4% on 2019 levels. Similarly, Outdoor/Nature attractions had a comparatively good month, only 9.1% down on 2019. For indoor attractions, although the picture is improving somewhat, the vast majority were still considerably down on pre-pandemic levels, with Historic Houses/Palaces down 56.4% and Castles/Forts reporting a decrease of 65.4% on 2019 levels.

As has been consistently reported throughout the year, it is very clear that there is yet to be a full-scale recovery for the attractions sector. Data from our barometer reports will continue to be used to ensure that the challenging conditions that many in our sector continue to operate under, are highlighted in the corridors of power.