Tourism chiefs call for additional holidays to help hard-hit theme parks, museums and attractions

Friday, April 2, 2021

Tourism bosses are calling for an extra public holiday for September to come up after a "calamitously tough" year for the industry.

The total number of visits by all major landmarks reached 45.4 million in 2020, a 70% drop from the 151 million in 2019.

All visitor attractions were closed during the March lockdown, but slowly started to reopen around the time of reduced restrictions.

Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, said the year was "disastrously tough" for British tourism.

This is the first time two gardens have been in the top 10 of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey.

Tate, which has offices in London, Liverpool and St Ives topped the list with 1.4 million visitors, a 77 per cent decline, followed by the Natural History Museum, British Museum and then Kew Gardens.

Despite the challenges, Tate Modern continued to be the most visited attraction in the summer, featuring the Natural History Museum in South Kensington at number two and the British Museum at third.

Meanwhile Chester Zoo was the most popular outside of London with 1.2 million visits, followed by Whipsnade, Longleat and the Westonbirt National Arboretum.