London: Visitor numbers swelled at major British tourist attractions in 2006, following a troubled 2005 when London was attacked by suicide bombers, tourism chiefs announced 21 February.
The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), which comprises the majority of Britain’s biggest and best known attractions, said the number of visitors plunged following the 7 July 2005 bombings, which killed 56 people.
But most London attractions saw a significant increase in visitors in 2006, the ALVA figures showed.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach, an amusement park on the northwest English coast, remained Britain’s most popular attraction, with 5.7 million visitors in 2006, even though numbers fell by 4%.
The rest of the top 10 were in London, such as the second-placed Tate Modern, the national gallery of international modern art, and the third-placed British Museum.
ALVA director Robin Broke said: “Despite security alerts and dense fog producing severe airport delays during the summer and December respectively, and the weak US dollar affecting the travel plans of many North American visitors, the industry is vibrant and continues to be a significant contributor to the British economy.
“Support for Britain’s attractions industry is still required if this country is to compete globally, not least enhanced funding being urgently needed for VisitBritain (the national tourist board) to market the industry both internally and abroad.
“The figures show a marked increase for several attractions compared to their 2005 performance. This is partly explained by the affect of the July bombings of that year.
“In June 2006 some attractions were affected by the World Cup football keeping many at home, especially as it coincided with some very hot weather.”