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WW1 centenary celebrations boost UK travel

WW1 poppysAccording to figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, events such as the First World War centenary increased visitor numbers in the UK and boosted tourism during 2014.

Museums, art galleries, parks and gardens were amongst the most popular attractions with a 6.5% surge in visitors last year but somewhat surprisingly it was Scotland where the biggest increase was noted.

Almost 10% more people visited their attractions in response to the Commonwealth Games and Glasgow’s cultural programme however overall figures still put London attractions in nine of the top ten slots for the most popular things to see and do.

The British Museum retained the title of number one attraction for the eighth year in a row; welcoming 6.69 million visitors and beating the National Gallery’s 6.41 million visitors, up 6.4% on a year previously.

Centenary celebrations encourage travel

Attractions specific to the First World War’s centenary had a huge influence on visitor numbers across the country but particularly in the capital.

The Tower of London poppies are thought to have received 5 million visitors alone while galleries at the Imperial War Museum London saw almost one million people pass through the doors in just six months. This is a massive 153% increase on the museum’s visitor numbers from the year before.

Attractions found across the rest of the UK also experienced an uptake in visitors as the world marked 100 years since the start of the First World War.

This meant an increase in visitors from home and abroad and provided the UK’s strong tourism industry – worth £127 billion a year and the country’s third biggest employer – with a considerable boost.

Top British attractions

To follow in the footsteps of 2014’s travellers, the full list of top ten most popular UK attractions are as follows:

  1. British Museum – 6.69 million visitors

  2. The National Gallery – 6.41 million visitors

  3. Southbank Centre – 6.25 million visitors

  4. Tate Modern – 5.78 million visitors

  5. Natural History Museum – 5.38 million visitors

  6. Science Museum – 3.35 million visitors

  7. South Kensington V&A – 3.18 million visitors

  8. Tower of London – 3.07 million visitors

  9. Somerset House – 2.46 million visitors

  10. The Library of Birmingham – 2.41 million visitors

Whether you intend to holiday at home or abroad this year it is important that you have budget travel insurance in place before you depart.


Date Created: 16 March 2015

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