Heritage Tourism and Greece

Knossos © David Gill

Greece will be re-opening to tourists and dropping quarantine regulations (“Greece reopens cafes, island ferries“, ekatherimini.com 25 May 2020). There is concern that Spain and Portugal will try to attract tourists from Germany (Ilias Bellos, “Greece battling Spain, Portugal for German tourists“, ekatherimini.com 26 May 2020).

These are particular challenges for Greece. Tourists from Germany, the UK, France and Italy were the main national groups bringing over 8 million visitors (in 2015). Tourists from the UK have yet to be given clearance to travel to Greece and that group is worth in the region of $750 million to the economy of Greece. Heritage tourism to a region like the Argolid is worth over $230 million to the local economy. Knossos on Crete is at the heart of one of the nation’s most popular destinations. Heritage in Greece is a major asset for the tourist economy and needs to be protected until tourist numbers can increase and generate the much needed income for the sector.

Leading Visitor Attractions 2017: National Trust for Scotland

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Glenfinnan © David Gill

The details of the Leading Visitor Attractions for 2017 are now available.  The National Trust for Scotland locations are:

  • Glenfinnan [81]: 396,448 [+57.8%]
  • Culzean Castle & Country Park [124]: 244,930 [+11.6%]
  • Inverewe Gardens [139]: 191,951 [+109.6%]
  • Culloden [145]: 180,875 [+27.6%]
  • Burns Birthplace Museum [155]: 164,316 [+1.2%]
  • Crathes Castle [171]: 121,841 [+23.7%]
  • Bannockburn [201]: 55,347 [+7.9%]
  • Falkland Palace [205]: 50,726 [+15.1%]
  • Drum Castle [208]: 46,574 [-3%]
  • Brodick Castle & Country Park [210]: 44,361 [-38.1%]
  • Pitmedden Garden [212]: 43,045 [+17.9%]
  • Hill House [220]: 28,518 [+6.2%]
  • Gladstones Land [235]: 12,061 [-44.7%]

There are two notable changes: Glenfinnan has rocketed to the top of the NTS list, and Inverewe has risen from no. 181. Inverewe’s popularity is probably its situation on the designated Scottish coastal drive NC500.

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Culloden © David Gill

NTS figures for:

Cadw Visitor Figures for 2015

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Tretower Court © David Gill

The 2015 visitor figures for Cadw sites are now available (for 2014 see here). (2014 numbers are in brackets.)

  1. Conwy Castle: 204,172  (184,758)
  2. Caernarfon Castle: 195,352 (175,216)
  3. Caerphilly Castle: 93,421 (107,887)
  4. Harlech Castle: 89,038  (75,512)
  5. Beaumaris Castle: 82,368 (86,854)
  6. Tintern Abbey: 70,808 (67,520)
  7. Castell Coch: 69,004 (69,418)
  8. Raglan Castle: 66,058 (59,385)
  9. Caerleon Roman Baths and Amphitheatre: 60,192 (55,977)
  10. Chepstow Castle: 59,463 (56,976)
  11. Criccieth Castle: 45,715  (43,528)
  12. Kidwelly Castle: 31,686 (29,359)
  13. St David’s Bishop’s Palace: 24,308 (24,646)
  14. Blaenavon Ironworks: 29,107 (22,467)
  15. Rhuddlan Castle: 25,872 (20,701)
  16. Plas Mawr: 23,658 (24,738)
  17. Carreg Cennen Castle: 23,345  (21,776)
  18. Cilgerran Castle: 19,416  (17,894)
  19. Laugharne Castle: 12,209  (15,807)
  20. Tretower Castle and Court: 13,587  (11,537)
  21. Denbigh Castle: 10,154 (12,584)
  22. Valle Crucis Abbey: 7,355  (8,117)
  23. White Castle: 7,682 (8,603)
  24. Oxwich Castle: 6,336  (6,070)
  25. Strata Florida Abbey: 5,280 (6,391)
  26. Dolwyddelan Castle: 4,645  (5,768)
  27. Lamphey Bishop’s Palace: 3,220  (2,856)
  28. Rug Chapel: 2,674 (3,387)
  29. Weobley Castle: 2,071  (2,495)
  30. Margam Stones Museum: 139  (438)

 

 

 

Leading Visitor Attractions 2016: National Trust for Scotland

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Brodick Castle © David Gill

The numbers for Leading Visitor Attractions in the UK are now available. They include properties in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

The properties are:

  • no. 133: Culzean Castle & Country Park, 209,710
  • no. 157: Burns Birthplace Museum, 140,528
  • no. 159: Culloden, 139,691
  • no. 181: Inverewe Gardens, 91,576
  • no. 209: Drum Castle, 47,037
  • no. 211: Bannockburn, 45,757
  • no. 213: Falkland Palace, 41,390
  • no. 217: Pitmedden Garden, 33,095
  • no. 233: Brodick Castle and Country Park, 27,896
  • no. 224: Hill House, 26,857
  • no. 230: Gladstones Land, 21,807

Significant increases were seen by Burns Birthplace Museum, Culloden, Inverewe Gardens, Drum Castle, Pitmedden Garden, and Gladstones Land.

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Culloden © David Gill

Leading Visitor Attractions 2016: Historic Environment Scotland

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Iona Abbey © David Gill

The 2016 figures for Leading Visitor Attractions have been published. They include figures for properties in the care of Historic Environment Scotland (Historic Scotland).

The properties are:

  • no. 16: Edinburgh Castle, 1,778,548
  • no. 68: Stirling Castle, 481,970
  • no. 84: Urquhart Castle, 396,397
  • no. 103: Glasgow Cathedral, 296,062
  • no. 177: Skara Brae, 93,375
  • no. 182: Doune Castle, 90,279
  • no. 188: St Andrews Castle, 77,038
  • no. 190: Linlithgow Palace, 74,428
  • no. 194: Iona Abbey, 65,092
  • no. 198: Fort George, 60,924
  • no. 200: Melrose Abbey, 52,073
  • no. 203: Argyll’s Lodgings, 49,197
  • no. 210: St Andrews Cathedral, 46,488
  • no. 212: Tantallon Castle, 42,708
  • no. 215: Caerlaverock Castle, 35,633
  • no. 219: Elgin Cathedral, 30,502
  • no. 220: Blackness Castle, 30,053

Significant rises were seen in the numbers for Edinburgh Castle, Urquhart Castle, Glasgow Cathedral (62%), Doune Castle, Linlithgow Palace, St Andrews Cathedral, Elgin Cathedral and Blackness Castle.

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Linlithgow Palace © David Gill

Leading Visitor Attractions 2016: English Heritage

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Pendennis Castle © David Gill

The 2016 list of Leaving Visitor Attractions in the UK has been published. The top English Heritage site continues to be Stonehenge (at no. 23) with 1,381,855 visitors, with a modest 1.1 % increase on 2015 figures.

The remaining English Heritage properties are (with overall ranking):

  • Dover Castle (no. 98): 333,289
  • Osborne House (no. 116): 265,011
  • Tintagel Castle (no. 125): 229,809
  • Audley End House and Gardens (no. 149): 165,799
  • Whitby Abbey (no. 151): 151,810
  • Clifford’s Tower (no. 154): 146,703
  • Battle Abbey (no. 160): 137,771
  • Kenwood (no. 161): 134,416
  • Carisbrooke Castle (no. 164): 127,012
  • Wrest Park (no. 166): 124,305
  • Kenilworth Castle (no. 169): 107,993
  • Housesteads Roman Fort (no. 172): 102,004
  • Eltham Palace and Gardens (no. 176): 94,635
  • Bolsover Castle (no. 179): 91,880
  • Walmer Castle and Gardens (no. 180): 91,752
  • Pendennis Castle (no. 191): 73,907

The major increase in visitors were seen at Osborne House, Tintagel Castle, Audley End House and Gardens, Battle Abbey, Carisbrooke Castle, Wrest Park, Walmer Castle and Gardens. There was a significant downturn in visitors for Kenwood.

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Walmer Castle and Gardens © David Gill

Leading Visitor Attractions for 2016

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British Museum © David Gill

The 2016 figures are available for Leading Visitor Attractions in the UK (ALVA). The top attraction remains the British Museum with 6,420,395 visitors. The National Gallery is in second place with 6,262,839 visitors.

All attractions in the top 10 are in London.

Visitor Figures for Cadw sites

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Chepstow Castle © David Gill

I have been noted the recent visitor figures for heritage sites in the UK (e.g. English Heritage; National Trust for Scotland). The figures for sites in the care of Cadw were published in October 2015 and cover the year 2014.

The list for sites  is as follows (with 2013 in brackets):

  1. Conwy Castle: 186,486 (174,920)
  2. Caernarfon Castle: 176,609 (163,394)
  3. Caerphilly Castle: 108,576 (110,687)
  4. Beaumaris Castle: 87,045 (83,823)
  5. Harlech Castle: 76,628 (76,355)
  6. Tintern Abbey: 68,566 (67,616)
  7. Castell Coch: 68,534 (74,021)
  8. Raglan Castle: 60,819 (56,877)
  9. Chepstow Castle: 57,905 (52,163)
  10. Caerleon Roman Baths and Amphitheatre: 56,657 (52,747)
  11. Criccieth Castle: 43,815 (41,096)
  12. Kidwelly Castle: 29,661 (NP)
  13. Plas Mawr Elizabethan Town House: 24,738 (21,372)
  14. St Davids Bishop’s Palace: 23,943 (32,509)
  15. Blaenavon Ironworks: 23,127 (18,601)
  16. Neath Abbey: 21,650 (NP)
  17. Rhuddlan Castle: 20,701 (18,936)
  18. Carreg Cennen Castle: 20,495 (18,822)
  19. Cilgerran Castle: 20,495 (NP)
  20. Laugharne Castle: 15,807 (11,715)
  21. Denbigh Castle: 12,342 (13,497)
  22. Tretower Court and Castle: 11,830 (13,758)
  23. White Castle: 8,603 (9,834)
  24. Valle Crucis Abbey: 8,117 (8,438)
  25. Strata Florida Abbey: 6,391 (4,956)
  26. Oxwich Castle: 6,070 (6,195)
  27. Dolforwyn Castle: 5,610 (NP)
  28. Dolwyddelan Castle: 5,495 (4,383)
  29. Lamphey Bishop’s Palace: 3,856 (3,673)
  30. Rug Chapel: 3,387 (3,325)

Note that the four castles of Edward I in North Wales (Conwy, Caernarfon, Beaumaris, and Harlech) are in the top five visitor attractions for Cadw. These form part of the World Heritage Site. Blaenavon is also part of a World Heritage Site.

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Tretower © David Gill

Leading Visitor Attractions: English Heritage

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Stonehenge © David Gill

The Visitor Figures for 2015 are now available (ALVA). The top English Heritage attraction is Stonehenge with 1.3 million visitors (no. 21) and showing an increase of 2.0% on 2014.

This is followed by:

  • no. 89: Dover Castle (331K)
  • no. 107: Osborne House (248K)
  • no. 133: Tintagel Castle (193K)
  • no. 144: Kenwood (159K)
  • no. 151: Audley End (150K)
  • no. 152: Whitby Abbey (146K)
  • no. 153: Clifford’s Tower (144K)
  • no. 162: Carisbrooke Castle (112K)
  • no. 163: Wrest Park (108K)
  • no. 166: Housesteads (107K)
  • no. 167: Battle Abbey (106K)
  • no. 168: Kenilworth Castle (106K)
  • no. 171: Eltham Palace (95K)
  • no. 176: Bolsover Castle (88K)
  • no. 180: Walmer Castle (76K)
  • no. 182: Pendennis Castle (73K)

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Bolsover Castle © David Gill

Leading Visitor Attractions for 2015

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The British Museum © David Gill

The figures for the Leading Visitor Attractions in the UK during 2015 are now available (ALVA). The top attraction is the British Museum with 6.8 million visitors, ahead of the National Gallery with 5.9 million.

The Top 10 attractions were all in London, with the Library of Birmingham coming no. 11 (1.8 million) and Chester Zoo at no. 12 (1.7 million).