The City of Lincoln Council’s latest visitor figures for the 2011 Lincoln Christmas Market found more people attended than it previously estimated.
More than 335,000 people were recorded in the city centre this year around the days of the market (December 1-4), 30,000 more than in 2009.
In addition, 12,000 cars used the park & ride scheme at the Showground, whereas in 2009 only 9,260 vehicles made use of the service.
Meanwhile in Castle Square, the Visitor Information Centre sold 613 programmes, 90 souvenir bags and 49 mugs; this is the first time official merchandise for the market has been on sale.
Some 1091 residents passes were handed out and 110 business passes around the area were also requested.
Visitor Information Centre Manager Michele Sims said: “Of course, the Council are already planning the next market, using the popularity of this year to improve it.”
Director of development and Environmental Services John Latham said: “We would like to thank everyone who came out in support for the Lincoln Christmas Market.
“We know people were very disappointed about last year’s cancellation, and it had a negative impact on our local economy, so to see that confidence in the event is so high and people are coming back to Lincoln in their numbers is fantastic.
“I’ve had reports from retailers both up and downhill who are very pleased with the number of visitors.”
Planning next year’s market
Latham also addressed one issue affecting some visitors the most this year: overcrowding.
“The one criticism we’re getting from people is that the market area was too crowded to enjoy the event fully,” he said.
“I’m pleased to say that we have an excellent safety team working on the market, and the crowd control measures we put in place meant everyone was kept safe during their visit.
“As we do every year, we’ll spend the coming weeks looking at this year’s market, what went well and what could be improved, and put this into the planning for future events.
“One thing we have thought about to improve the crowd situation is to look at the layout of the stalls and see how we can improve pedestrian traffic flow further.”