Two of Cheshire’s tourist attractions have been listed in the ten most visited attractions in England last year.
Visit England’s Annual Survey of Visits to Visitor Attractions in England for 2021 shows that Chester Zoo was the second most visited paid attraction in the country last year, with Tatton Park also making the top ten in 8th.
The survey shows that 1,601,327 people went through the doors at the zoo while 740,000 visited Tatton Park. Both of these figures are up on 2020 (1,182,652 for Chester Zoo and 580,000 for Tatton Park) but down on 2019 (2,086,785 for Chester Zoo and 769,000 for Tatton Park), the last year before the Coronavirus pandemic.
The strong figures show that the county’s visitor economy is starting to bounce back from the pandemic but there is still progress to be made to return to the levels seen before 2020.
Dunham Massey, which sits on the Greater Manchester and Cheshire border, also made the top 20 in 18th with 522,346 – promisingly up from its 2019 figure of 340,352.
Nicola Said, Commercial Director at Marketing Cheshire said: “We’re home to so many world class visitor attractions here and it’s great to see that two of these are among the most visited in the country.
“Coronavirus had a huge impact on the leisure and tourism sector, which is hugely important to us here in Cheshire and Warrington, so it’s encouraging to see people have started to return. However, we still have progress to make to get back to – or exceed – the number of visitors we were seeing pre-pandemic and with rising costs for many businesses, it’s important we do so.
“We know it’s been a busy summer for many of the attractions across the county so we’re hopeful that we will continue to see these figures go up again. A lot of hard work goes in from a lot of people to making Cheshire a great place to visit so I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone who helps to make that happen.”
Jamie Christon, CEO at Chester Zoo, said: “Our charity zoo puts everything into our global conservation work – and that all starts right here in Chester. From our animal and plant care, to our scientific breakthroughs, our policy work in government, our education programmes helping people to learn about nature, through to our field projects in more than 30 countries. We’re doing whatever it takes to create a brighter future for endangered species around the world.
“All of this is made possible by people coming to the zoo to enjoy a fantastic, inspiring day out. In doing so each and every person is contributing towards our species-saving work and so a huge thank you goes out to everyone that has visited and supported us following the Covid-19 pandemic. It means the world to us.”
Carole Hyde, Business Development Manager at Tatton Park said: “It was wonderful to see so many new and returning visitors coming to recharge their batteries after such a challenging couple of years. Our range of outdoor events - from flower shows to music festivals - were well attended, and people really appreciated the benefits of getting close to nature in our picturesque parkland and gardens. More recently, we’ve welcomed lots of schools, groups and families back to see our new mansion exhibitions and treasured collections. And of course, our rare breed animals and food demos at the farm, never fail to entertain!”
You can read the survey in full here:
Pictured - Jamie Christon, CEO at Chester Zoo.