Continuum Attractions is currently seeing a significant increase in visitor numbers across the business and their research suggests that this is due to their visitor’s desire for a good story.
The company has always been at the forefront of the UK attractions industry through the presentation of well told stories in fascinating locations.
The Jorvik Viking Centre, which was opened by the company in 1984, was hugely innovative in terms of immersing visitors into ‘History as a Story’. For the first time, visitors could touch and smell things and really experience the stories and history of the subject rather than view it quietly from behind barriers and glass cases.
CEO Juliana Delaney, who has been with the company from the very beginning, is known for joking: “Our story begins with a hole in the ground but that’s all very much in our past now”
33 years later, the company certainly has come a long way, working with over 100 visitor attractions across the world and currently operating 9 attractions in the UK in Edinburgh, Leeds, Oxford, Canterbury, Gwynedd, Cardiff, Portsmouth and York, where the head office is based.
Each attraction tells a unique neighbourhood story, from the amazing warren of streets frozen in time beneath Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to celebrating the famous tales of Chaucer or the iconic Yorkshire based drama -Emmerdale.
Group Head of Sales and Marketing, Julie Ozbek attests the continued success of the company to the storytelling.
“Our visitors love the stories that we tell and the interactive way that we deliver them. Our own research confirms that experiences that highlight history and nostalgia are now more in demand than ever.
We know that more people are staying in the UK for their leisure time now as well as overseas visitors coming into the country.
Other factors are likely to have had an effect on our increased admission numbers. Recent concerns over the safety of the city of London may also have contributed to visitors considering other key tourism destinations within the UK. Cities like York and Edinburgh appear to be becoming more popular as destinations. Because these cities have been a less obvious choice, particularly to international travellers in the past, visitors are more interested to learn about the broader UK heritage and the unique stories of the places that they are experiencing.”
Many potential visitors might know that York was home to Vikings but are delighted to learn more about how it is the UK’s home of Chocolate at York’s Chocolate Story. This attraction in particular has seen a 12% increase in visitors from 2016 while Oxford Castle Unlocked, which tells the story of the city’s Norman castle turned prison is 13% up on the previous year.
The majority of the attractions are fully guided and offer interactive elements which appeal to visitors of all ages. The theatrical and innovative presentations mean that visitors come away informed and entertained which can be confirmed by consistently positive feedback and various awards and accreditations.
Continuum Attractions have turned storytelling into a hugely effective enterprise and have established themselves as experts in the leisure industry. With a portfolio spanning over 3 decades, the story of the company’s success is certainly not a thing of the past but a potential for further success.