UK Visitor Attraction Boom


The recession, the advent of the staycation phenomenon and the associated decline in overseas holidays taken in recent years has delivered a positive side effect: a boom in memberships of UK visitor attractions.

Research from the latest annual BDRC Continental Holiday Survey reveals that those who have joined visitor attractions as members are squeezing everything they can from their memberships.  Two-thirds (62%) of members state that they now visit places more often using their membership than they did a year ago.

This corroborates research conducted by VisitEngland in summer 2010 via their England Attractions Monitor that revealed the growing importance of membership schemes to visitor attractions.  A third of attractions that operate schemes reported an increase in subscriptions over the past year among those living within day trip distance of the attraction. Less than a fifth reported a decline.

But there’s a warning for attractions currently without a membership scheme.  With the tightening of household budgets has come a reluctance to visit attractions beyond memberships.  A third (34%) of those with memberships said that they ‘visit places more often using my membership, but visit other attractions less’.

“The increase in visits per member to attractions provides organisations with a much better opportunity to engage with these members and develop that elusive long term relationship” says Steve Mills, Director, BDRC Continental. “Those without membership schemes would appear to be at a relative disadvantage at the moment as the members become more focused upon getting value for money from their subscription fees.”

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