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Visitor numbers to English gardens and zoos surge

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English gardens and zoos experienced an 8 per cent surge in visitors over 2016, according to data collected by VisitEngland.

Visitor increases were partly down to 2016 being crowned the Year of the English Garden, while Chester Zoo became the second most popular paid attraction in the country, with 1.9 million visitors.

The Great Britain Tourism Survey, which gathered visitor information from more than 1,500 English attractions, found that historic houses and castles reported a 7 per cent increase in tourists.

Meanwhile, visitor numbers to English country parks grew by 4 per cent year-on-year.

Tourism minister John Glen said “ensuring that all part of the country” benefit from tourism was a “government priority”.

“We have an amazing range of world-class attractions in England that draw in millions of visitors every year,” he added.

“Whether it’s our unique historic buildings, internationally important museums or stunning gardens, there is a huge amount to see and do.”

VisitEngland’s survey results revealed that coastal and rural attractions also experienced growth of 4 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

Sally Balcombe, VisitEngland chief executive, said: “Attractions are a much loved and valuable part of the tourism landscape, adding colour and variety to the visitor experience and encouraging people to get out and explore, driving the value of tourism across the regions.”

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English gardens and zoos experienced an 8 per cent surge in visitors over 2016, according to data collected by VisitEngland.
2016 was the Year of the English Garden / Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images
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