Alton Towers ‘saw 25% attendance drop’ in 2015

Congo River Rapids at Alton Towers

Alton Towers saw a 25% fall in visitor numbers in 2015, according to a report published by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).

Estimates published in the Global Attraction Attendance Report (GAAR) put the park’s visitation at 1.925 million people last year, compared with 2.575 million during the 2014 season.

The 650,000 drop in guest numbers comes following the Smiler rollercoaster accident on 2 June last year, in which five people were seriously injured.

The Staffordshire theme park has mothballed a number of rides this season as it looks to make savings until guest numbers return to normal, which it expects as early as next year.

The report said that Merlin Entertainments fellow UK theme park Thorpe Park also saw a near-12% fall in visitor numbers, with 1.85 million guests coming through its gates.

However, visitor numbers at Merlin’s other two UK theme parks – Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland Windsor – were estimated as being up 2.5% and 2.3% respectively.

US-based consultants AECOM compiled the figures in the GAAR and state in the report where they “do not receive specific park level figures from the operator” they use a “detailed methodology” considering factors such as new rides, ticket prices, media coverage, amongst others.

Although Merlin does not generally publish attendance figures for its individual theme parks, planning documents have previously revealed that the Thirteen rollercoaster took the number of Alton Towers admissions to more than 3 million during the 2010 season.

Due to recent losses in revenue, the company could lose its place in London’s prestigious FTSE 100 share index when a reshuffle is announced on Wednesday.