The iconic Wales Millennium Centre attracted more than one million visitors last year and remains the top visitor attraction in Wales for the 5th year running.
The number of visitors to the Centre - excluding those attending performances - reached 1,046,958 in 2011, up 3.1% on 2010.
The figures released today (Tuesday May 22) from the annual Survey of Visits to Tourist Attractions in Wales show that Swansea’s LC is in second position and was the most visited attraction with paid admission in Wales. A total of 708,180 people went through LC’s doors last year, an increase of 9.1% on 2010 when it attracted 649,053 visitors.
St Fagans National History Museum was in third overall position with 610,074 visitors which is virtually unchanged from 2010.
The survey shows that last year 15.8million people visited the 214 attractions that participated in the survey, with visits to free attractions representing over half (57%) of all visits.
Business Minister Edwina Hart said: "Tourism is one of our key economic sectors, worth £4.2billion to the Welsh economy each year and visitor attractions are an important component of the industry.
"We have a rich and diverse range of attractions in Wales many of which reflect our unique culture, history, heritage and natural environment which are enjoyed by millions of people each year while also providing an important educational resource."
Museums and art galleries were the most visited attractions (5.3m visitors) followed by country parks, gardens and other natural attractions (4.9million visitors) and historic properties (2.9million visitors).
Amongst attractions providing a breakdown of visitor origins, just under half (48%) of the visitors were local people, with 44% from the rest of the UK and 8% from overseas. Overseas visitors are particularly important for historic properties accounting for nearly 20% of visitors , followed by industrial and craft attractions with around 14% of international visitors.
Top ten paid attractions
The LC, Swansea – 708,180
Pembrey Country Park -398,115
Folly Farm Adventure Park -374,000
Caernarfon Castle – 196,944
Conwy Castle – 178,639
Llyn Lech Owain Country Park – 178,000
Bodnant Garden – 170,929
Erddig – 168,281
Techniquest – 167,849
Top ten free attractions
Wales Millennium Centre -1,046,958
St Fagans: National History Museum – 610,074
National Museum Wales – 411,730
Bellevue Park, Wrexham – 384,000
Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre – 308,625
Cardiff Museum Project – 270,000
St Davids Cathedral – 262,000
National Waterfront Museum – 256,471
Cardiff Visitor Centre – 239,849
Margam Country Park – 232,693
The Survey, carried out by Beaufort Research, can be accessed on the Welsh Government website via the following link: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/tourism/research/tourisminwales/attractionssurvey/?lang=en
For more information contact: Shan Ekin-Wood or Eurwen Petitti, Press Office, Welsh Government, tel 02920 898636