Juliana Delaney responds to big numbers for tourism in Britain in 2020
Crunching the numbers
“It has been a big month of big numbers from our national tourism agencies, VisitBritain and Visit England, not only highlighting that Britons ‘staycationing’ this year is on the rise and will add £27bn to the UK economy, but also that visitors spent £951m in Britain last year and that this is expected to also increase.
“These figures and their projected positive impact make me feel excited, encouraged, energised…and ever-more focused on the importance of staying relevant. It’s certainly not the moment for attractions to rest on their laurels with the security that visitors will come. We are operating in an increasingly broad competitive field, where screens big and small compete for people’s time, and where even a trip to the cinema is referred to as ‘light exercise’ (University College London research).
“With climate change and weather disruption top of the news agenda, there is added insecurity of what the weather will do, in addition to the unknown real impact of Brexit, which undoubtedly will affect us negatively from the European visitor.”
Investing for the future
“The only matter we can be assured about is that we need to continue to invest in our offering and in our people. And we need to work collaboratively with others, such as our local tourism bodies, other attractions, accommodation providers and national organisations, to ensure that we can create the biggest impact possible not just for ourselves, but for our regions and all those who live, work and visit them.”
Already this year, we confirmed £100k investment in new interpretation of The Plague and Queen Mary exhibitions in Edinburgh, significant investment in York’s Chocolate Story to enhance the guest experience and increase our fresh chocolate production, and the unveiling of a new ‘Giant’ attraction at the sustainability focused Greenwood Family Park in Wales.
“We’ve set aside substantial budget for staff training, building on the mental health awareness campaign from 2019, where we worked together with St John’s Ambulance to train personnel at each of our eight sites as mental health first aiders. We’re prepped to embrace the challenges of 2020, we’re also braced for the highs and lows that will naturally come as part of the ride.”
That was Juliana Delaney, our Chief Executive commenting on the latest tourism news.
‘Giant’ family-fun with a sustainable focus in Wales, chocolate Masterclasses in York and The Plague in Edinburgh, 2020 will again be a big year for Continuum Attractions, as we continue to invest in our nine award-winning attractions, our people, and our vision to create compelling new reasons to visit.
Highlights for 2020 include:
Yorkshire – York’s Chocolate Story
February – Launch of new late-night tours with prosecco and expert Chocolatiers
North Wales – Greenwood Family Park
Spring – Investment in and launch of Giant Quest, a new addition to the sustainability-focused family park, which will include climbing routes across different levels, bouncing nets, a tower and slide.
Chief Executive Juliana Delaney says;
“I’m incredibly proud of our attractions, which contribute a great deal to the UK tourism offer. We bring the attractions together under a vision of purpose; whether that’s imaginatively bringing ‘hidden’ stories to life at The Real Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh, preserving the fabric and history of Oxford Castle & Prison, encouraging a love for everything sustainable at Greenwood Family Park in Wales, or sharing the history and love of chocolate in York, the Group goes from strength to strength in proving that it can effectively run and lead engaging and successful attractions, with motivated and experienced people at the helm and using emerging digital technology.”
It has been a bumper year for our award-winning Edinburgh visitor attraction, The RealMary King’s Close, as over a quarter of a million people visited, the attraction won a handful of awards, and we announce plans for new investment in 2020.
Right in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town and underneath the streets of the bustling Royal Mile, The Real Mary King’s Close has long been included on the ‘must-do’ list of any Edinburgh visit and is working hard to keep that the case in the coming year.
A great year!
“It has been a great year for The Real Mary King’s Close, as we ended the year with awards, including winner of ‘Best for Big Kids in Scotland’ said Paul Nixon, General Manager.
‘In 2019 we launched a new gin tasting tour and our family-friendly tours, and we’ve plenty of new ways to try and ensure we retain an important spot on peoples’ wish-list for any Edinburgh visit.’
There is a planned investment of over £100K in several key areas of the attraction this spring, including an extension to The Plague story and a reinterpretation of Mary Queen of Scots’ visit. Digital technology will form a large part of the reinterpretation, working with set designers and talented Guest Experience Managers to create a highly appealing and quality experience for visitors.
Full details will be announced in early 2020, with new photography and assets available.
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Continuum Attractions is committed to achieving the highest standards of Health & Safety to all its visitors and employees. We are proud of the processes, systems and procedures we have in place across our business. Health & Safety is much a part of our company culture as our dedication to delivering unique experiences in memorable locations.