Shakespeare draws in record visitor numbers

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The Garden of Curious-a-Muse-ments was all about the marbles for young visitors Renee Cole, aged seven, and her sister Jasmine, four, and UNBOSI researcher, Stephanie Beara. The Christmas light show helped boost visitor to Birthplace Trust properties in 2016. Photo: Mark Williamson (N15/12/16/4802)

RECORD breaking visitor numbers to Stratford-upon-Avon throughout 2016 has given the local economy and surrounding areas a significant boost.

The 400th anniversary celebrations of Shakespeare’s death, a Royal visit by Prince Charles, the opening of New Place and huge demand for Royal Shakespeare Company productions ensured the knock-on effect — in terms of the town’s visitor income — remained constant once the Bard’s celebrations were complete.

Tourism body, Shakespeare’s England, saidthe Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) welcomed the highest number of visitors since reopening its riverside theatre in Stratford, with more than 620,000 people, excluding show bookings, took part in post-performance tours of the theatre.

It added that Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) also saw an increase in visitor numbers from 2015 with 825,000 tourists visiting its properties.

Helen Peters, Shakespeare’s England chief executive, said: “2016 has been excellent. The RSC had its highest number of visitors since reopening in 2010.

“In April, the Prince of Wales briefly became Prince of Denmark in Hamlet to utter the famous line: “To be or not to be” during a live BBC TV performance.

“The reopening of Shakespeare’s New Place in August, on the site of his final home, drew in nearly 50,000 visitors, while his old schoolroom also opened to the public last year.”

It’s understood the lure of Shakespeare is worth £600million to the local economy, brings in ten million visitors, and supports 11,000 jobs in the area.

The Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations also helped pull in record crowds in 2016.
The Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations also helped pull in record crowds in 2016.

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Shakespeare Birthplace Trust celebrates record year in 2016