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Chester Zoo thanks public for its “incredible support” as it’s named the third most visited attraction in the UK in major new report

visitor economy 18/03/2022

Chester Zoo is a world leading conservation charity

  • New ALVA (Association of Leading Visitor Attractions) figures, released today, reveal the zoo welcomed more than 1.6m people in 2021
  • Latest data ranks the charity zoo as the UK’s third most visited attraction and the most visited paid-for attraction outside of London
  • Zoo conservationists say the support returning visitors have shown will help make the world a better place for wildlife, following challenging period

Chester Zoo has thanked its visitors for helping the charity “get back to its feet” after a major report named it the third most attended attraction in the UK during 2021.

New data, released today by The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) - which represents the UK’s most iconic museums, galleries, palaces, castles, cathedrals, wildlife parks, heritage sites, gardens and leisure attractions - revealed the zoo welcomed 1,601,327 people in 2021, a 35% increase on the previous years’ figures.

The new numbers also rank the conservation-focused zoo the most visited paid-for attraction outside of London.

Wildlife experts at the zoo say that seeing visitors return in such high numbers, after what has been an incredibly challenging and unique period amid the pandemic, will help it to make the world a better place for nature.

Jamie Christon, Chester Zoo’s CEO, said: “The last few years have been incredibly challenging for everyone, and for us it’s been no different. With so much uncertainty deriving from lockdowns, closures and other restrictions, there were times when our future was on shaky ground. Our visitors enable us to care for the highly threatened species here at the zoo, while supporting the many vital conservation projects that we carry out, both globally and here in the UK. We’re so grateful that the public returned in such large numbers - their love and support for us has never wavered.   

“These new ALVA figures clearly go to show just how much people care about what we do here. Every single person who has visited has played a part in helping us to get back to our feet after a tough time – the support has been incredible – and crucially it means we’re able to push on with our mission to prevent extinction. As a charity, that’s everything to us.”  

Chester Zoo, a world leading conservation and education charity, currently supports more than 80 projects that are fighting to prevent extinction in 20 countries worldwide.