Visits to England’s attractions rose by two per cent in 2018, with revenue also up by two per cent on the previous year, according to figures from VisitEngland’s annual Attractions Survey.
The survey, which considers responses from more than 1,500 English attractions, saw museums and art galleries perform particularly well in 2018, with an increase of six per cent in visitor numbers compared to the previous year.
The Tate Modern displaced the British Museum at the top of the table for the first time in ten years, with 5.87 million visitors in 2018.
The museum followed closely behind, welcoming 5.83 million guests.
Visits to places of worship also saw an increase, with three per cent more visitors in 2018, confirming the upward trend seen in 2017 after three years of decline.
Tourism minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “We are home to four of the top ten museums and galleries in the world and each year our attractions draw in millions of people wanting to experience, enjoy, and engage with our rich and diverse culture.
“It is brilliant to see such positive growth across a range of destinations.
“From ancient cathedrals and beautiful landscapes, to rural villages, historic houses, glorious gardens and museums, we truly have something for everyone.”
Topping the list of paid for attractions for the tenth year in a row was the Tower of London, with 2.86 million visitors.
Chester Zoo was once again in second place, with 1.97 million visitors.
VisitEngland’s latest domestic tourism statistics show that for the first four months of 2019 Brits took a record 11.8 million domestic overnight holidays in England, up three per cent on the previous record set in 2017.
VisitEngland chief executive, Sally Balcombe, said: “England’s outstanding attractions encourage day visits and overnight stays, ensuring visitors have memorable experiences driving visits and growth across the English regions.
“Our culture is one of the main drivers for international visitors and so it’s not surprising to see our museums and galleries returning to the top spot, confirming England’s position as a cultural hub.”
Tourism is worth £106 billion annually to England.