Industry News

2023: Year in Search

We take a look back on what visitors searched for and looked at throughout 2023 on, the county’s official tourism website.


Kids picking up sea glass

As 2023 began, our website visitors were looking for Accommodation, Things to Do and Events as the new year got underway. The most popular event page was Lunar New Year, as people looked for ways to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit. Searching for Seaham Sea glass was also a popular page, showing visitors were keen to beat the January blues and get outside in Durham’s great outdoors.

Attractions, What’s on and Restaurants also made the top 10 list, showing consumers were keen to start planning their 2023 visits.


As the winter season started to come to an end and spring was in sight website visitors started to look for outdoor activities and attractions, including High Force Waterfall. The annual Durham City Fire and Ice Festival was the most popular page on the site that month, with a guide to February Half Term events also featuring in the top 10.

Ahead of its return this summer Kynren was once again in the top ten most viewed pages, showing visitors were already planning for summer.

A couple stood at High Force


A woman in a hotel reading a book

With Easter approaching our dedicated Attractions, Accommodation, What’s On and Easter Events web pages all made the top 10 list, as consumers planned their spring visits and half term getaways. And with consumers starting to consider spring city breaks, the Durham City page also proved popular.

In March we also launched the first translated page on the website from English to German.


As excitement built for King Charles III’s Coronation, Accommodation, Attractions and our dedicated Coronation Events page all made the top 10 most popular pages that month as consumers started to plan ahead to make the most of the extra Bank Holiday weekend in May.

Easter events continued to be the most popular page into April, as locals and visitors alike searched for things to do during the Easter holidays. Another big draw to the website in April was our National Destination Campaign competition, where visitors could win a family getaway in Durham.

Spring flowers outside of Durham Cathedral


King Charles coronation logo

The Accommodation page came out on top this month, as visitors searched for the perfect place to stay during May half term and looking ahead for the summer holidays.

In May the What’s on page was developed to showcase all things culture taking place in the county, including events, festivals, venues and developments.

Durham Pride made its way into the top five pages, alongside Things to Do and King’s Coronation events which took place on 6 May.


As we searched for a new Durham Tourism Superstar, the dedicated page made the top five as people cast their vote for the next champion. Popular event pages included The Durham Miners Gala and the Northern Soul festival – Stoney Valley Festival.

Things to Do, Attractions and Accommodation remained in the list of top pages, as consumers continued to search for inspiration for summer breaks.

Duncan Peake (Left), Interim Chair of Visit County Durham, with Durham Tourism Superstar 2023 winner Ian Bean, of Beamish, The Living Museum of the North


A man playing a saxophone at Durham Brass

Every summer a packed programme of festivals and events takes place across the county. Attracting a lot of interest on the site that month was Kynren, Seaham Carnival and the Durham Brass festival, which all made the top 10 web pages list. Attractions, Accommodation and Things to Do pages remained in the top 10 list as school summer holidays drew nearer.


Accommodation and Attraction pages made the top 10 list, with summer holiday planning in full gear, as well as the International Cricket taking place in Chester-le-Street.

The summer of fun continued throughout August, with some of the county’s key annual events taking place. Kynren was the 5th most popular web page that month, whilst the upcoming Wolsingham Show entered in 8th position.

A family flying a kite


Two people sat at a bar at The Rose and Crown pub

Things to see and do across the county and what’s on information continued to prove popular as summer drew to a close. The popular Chester-Le-Eats food festival returned to the top pages ahead of its return at the beginning of October.

Accommodation was the 5th most popular page that month, with consumers planning post-school holiday getaways, and the dedicated Autumn Breaks and Halloween events page shot into the top ten with visitors looking ahead to an autumn getaway.


As autumn gets underway the change in season starts to drive traffic to the site, with the dedicated landing pages for Halloween and Bonfire Night all appearing in the top five, along with What’s on. And ahead of its return in November, the Lumiere Breaks page made the top ten.

Our latest national destination marketing campaign – Do Durham Differently also launched that month.

Do Durham Differently campaign logo


Fireworks at Kynren

The top ten was dominated by November the 5th celebrations, with the dedicated Fireworks event page, Chester-Le-Street, Beamish Hall and Rainton Meadows Fireworks displays all making the top ten.

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas from November, as consumer interest turned to festive visits, events and activities. Our dedicated Christmas Events page and Bishop Auckland Christmas Town event made the top 10 list of most popular pages.


December saw the return of the online Advent Calendar, which as well as providing a platform to support many of the county’s attractions and hospitality businesses, it also provides a fun engagement tool for consumers and drives considerable traffic to the site, with the page making the top spot that month.

Our Classic Christmas page, featuring ideas and inspiration for festive breaks, events and activities in the county was the 4th most popular page that month, with the dedicated pages for Christmas Events also making the top 5 list.

Popular festive events which also made the top ten included Cinderella panto at Gala Durham, and the Flying Scotsman at Locomotion – which was the public’s last chance to see the iconic engine during its century year celebrations. 

Advent Calendar

As well as providing useful insights, reviewing the top web pages on helps to identify trends and opportunities that can be utilised to continue to grow the county’s official tourism website. Achieving over 1m unique visits in 2023, the site continues to be a vital tool to support businesses and inspire consumers, converting interest in the county into visits.

Explore the consumer website at