Tourist attractions, sometimes known as visitor attractions, are a vital part of the UK’s tourism industry. They are literally places that people are attracted to. There is a wide range of attractions within the UK varying from beautiful beaches to modern theme parks. The UK’s attractions include:
- Museums and galleries
- Historic properties
- Leisure parks
- Wildlife attractions
- Visitor centres
- Steam railways
- Country parks and gardens
- Natural attractions such as mountains and beaches
Some attractions operate within the private sector for profit, e.g. Madame Tussauds; some operate not-for-profit, such as the National Trust. Others are controlled by the public sector, either through local authorities or on behalf of central government.
Attractions are classified as being either natural, built or purpose built. Natural attractions are attractions that have developed naturally through nature. Built attractions are attractions that have become visitor attractions over the years, whilst purpose-built attractions have been specifically built to attract visitors and tourists. Generally speaking, many natural attractions operate within the not-for-profit (voluntary) sector. Built attractions are controlled by the public sector and are subsidised by local authorities or government and purpose-built attractions generally operate within the private sector.