Tourists are flocking to Doncaster and sending visitor numbers soaring, according to a new report.
In the last year those sampling the delights of the borough’s attractions has gone up by a third (29 per cent) to 1,390,492. The total number of visitors to the borough as a whole was up 15 per cent.
AeroVenture, Brodsworth Hall, Cusworth Hall, The Dome, Doncaster Minster, Museum and Art Gallery, Potteric Carr, Racecourse and Yorkshire Wildlife Park have all reported a marked increase in the numbers of people through their doors compared to 2013.
Councillor Bob Johnson, Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for leisure and culture said: “Doncaster’s tourist attractions are performing incredibly well. The final visitor number figures for 2013-14 show an increase of 14.6 per cent compared to last year, with a total of 1.4million people flocking to the many attractions around the borough.
“More than this, every single tourist attraction that Doncaster Council measures figures for has seen increased visitor numbers this year. These figures are fantastic for Doncaster, and emphasise how many great attractions there are in the local area.”
Mark Spincer, managing director at Doncaster Racecourse said: “We’re thrilled to hear the news of the increased tourism figures for Doncaster. We’ve seen healthy raceday crowds for the year so far with a record Lincoln meeting attendance and family fun days and concerts continuing to draw large crowds.
“On the non-racing front, the racecourse is also becoming one of the leading large-scale conference and events venues within the region, offering a great-value proposition that continues to draw leading blue chip organisations.
“This increased spotlight on the town can only benefit local businesses and, of course, we appreciate the continued support we receive from the local community.”
Cheryl Williams, director of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be playing a part in increasing the number of visitors to Doncaster, and it’s great that Doncaster is booming.
“We’ve gone from 60,000 visitors in 2009 when we opened to half a million expected this year.”
The news comes as Cusworth Hall received an award for excellence from an influential travel website.
The Grade One listed building has been presented with the top accolade from TripAdvisor due to its outstanding traveller reviews.
Coun Johnson added: “Cusworth Hall is one of our top attractions.
“I’m proud of the hall’s achievement which reflects the hard work of everyone there to make all visits enjoyable ones.”
Cusworth Hall is set in acres of historic parkland with lakes. The site, which was extensively restored between 2003-2007, invites visitors to experience a wealth of architecture, heritage, landscape history, wildlife and exhibitions, events and activities.
At this week’s Doncaster Council overview and scrutiny management committee, members heard that funding was in place for a new visitdoncaster website to replace the current site, which was set up ten years ago and is now longer fit for purpose.
This would allow income generation/sponsorship, help improve web hit statistics, provide the opportunity to better compete in an increasingly competitive market place, and be more user interactive, with the ability to be accessed through a range of application APPs, iPads and mobiles.