A significant drop in visitor numbers at Lincoln Cathedral last year is blamed on the cancellation of the 2010 traditional uphill Christmas Market.
Figures released by Visit England on Wednesday show that 25% fewer people have visited Lincoln’s most prominent tourist attraction.
In 2010, only 150,000 tourists have visited the cathedral, down from 200,000 in 2009 and 2008, according to Visit England’s report.
With an entrance fee of £6, this equates to at least £30,000 in lost revenue for Lincoln Cathedral last year.
“The reason for the fall is simple: the absence of a Christmas Market in 2010,” said Phil Hamlyn Williams, Chapter Clerk and Chief Executive at Lincoln Cathedral.
“This is such an important part of what Lincoln offers and we look forward to an excellent [Christmas] market this year.
“Looking at the figures for the current season, we are about 10% up on this time last year and both our shop and refectory have been very busy.
“We have a new visitor brochure which is proving very popular.
“We are also working closely with the Visit Lincoln Partnership and are pleased to part of the Visit Lincoln pass,” Williams added.
Bumping tourist numbers
Emma Tatlow from Visit Lincoln Partnership (VLP) also said “the dip in the 2010 Lincoln Cathedral figures reflects the fact that the Lincoln Christmas Market was cancelled that year.
“The Visit England research shows that nationally visitor numbers to attractions saw an increase in 2010 compared to 2009 figures.
“VLP knows that at a local level, attractions in the Lincoln area are also seeing increased visitor numbers.
“A range of attractions including Lincoln Castle, The Collection, Doddington Hall and Whisby Natural World have reported increased visitor numbers for the 2011 season in comparison to 2010.
“One of our initial marketing initiatives was the launch of the Visit Lincoln Pass offering visitors reduced rate entry in to the Castle, Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace.
“This has proved exceptionally popular reinforcing the fact that consumers are looking for added value and value for money things to do in their leisure time.”
Visit England has rated Lincoln Cathedral as the 16th most popular attraction in the East Midlands, based on data from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.
Hartsholme Country Park in Lincoln is rated as the eighth on the same list, with a 25% increase in visitors, from 200,000 to 250,000 last year.