Record Visitor Numbers at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust announces record visitor numbers; including visits to Shakespeare’s Birthplace up 11.5%
28 January 2014
The five Shakespeare Family Homes in Stratford-upon-Avon attracted record-breaking visitor numbers in 2013. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the independent charity which cares for the world-renowned Shakespeare heritage sites, welcomed over 818,000 visitors last year, 7.4% up on 2012 and 1.8% more than its previous record high in 2011.
Dr Diana Owen, Director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “This is a fantastic achievement which reflects our ongoing investment in making the Shakespeare homes – and his home town – a ‘must-see’ destination. Income from tourism is absolutely vital to support our work to conserve the houses and our world class Shakespeare collection, keep them open to the public, and make them meaningful and relevant for people now and in the future. We now have our sights set on reaching the one million visitors a year milestone in 2018.”
Growth during 2013 was strongest at Shakespeare’s Birthplace, with visits up by 11.5%, followed by Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife) with an 8% increase. Following the closure of the archaeological dig on the site of Shakespeare’s final home at New Place, it was the only location where visitor numbers declined, by 3%.
The most significant growth (25%) was through bookings made through tour operators and local partners including the Visitor Information Centre. Advance bookings also increased, with online advance ticket sales up by 188%, while advance group bookings rose by 25%.
Dr Diana Owen said, “Shakespeare is at the heart of our national identity and part of the world’s cultural ‘glue’. That makes Stratford a unique heritage and cultural destination, renowned worldwide, but we can’t rest on our laurels. The next few years offer a unique opportunity with the major anniversaries of Shakespeare’s birth in 2014 and death in 2016 to do even more to encourage more people to visit Stratford, linger longer and return more often. Over the next three years we will be working to highlight Stratford’s place - and our own role - at the centre of the Shakespeare world.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Press and Public Affairs Officer Nurinder Mantell or call 01789 207132.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world. The charity runs formal and informal educational programmes for people of all ages. It holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related museum and archives open free to the public, a collection which is designated as being of international importance. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives no public subsidy or direct government funding; it depends on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends.