A 7.3% rise in visits to UK attractions took place between 2011 and 2012 according to a new report by international research company researchandmarkets.com.

The increase is mainly down to a rise in attendance at free attractions such as museums and heritage sites, however expenditure on admissions was up almost 14%, but this was due mainly to increased ticket prices.

The report said more amusements were “struggling to keep afloat” as visitors opted instead for free attractions to save money “due to the problematic economic conditions”.

The UK ranks seventh in terms of international tourist arrivals in 2012, with events such as the Royal Wedding, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games increasing the country’s appeal.

“Over the coming years, a return to economic stability should help to encourage consumers to spend more on leisure activities, such as visiting tourist attractions, including both paid-for and free institutions,” said the report.

“Nevertheless, expenditure on admissions to visitor attractions is likely to continue to observe double-digit growth over the next few years, with ticket prices expected to continue to rise, as a result of inflationary increases and market pressures.”

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