Industry News

The Year in Search

Publication Date: 21st Dec 2022

Throughout 2022 significant events continued to impact the county's visitor economy, from the lifting of final Covid restrictions to the cost-of-living crisis. Find out how these events, and more, affected what consumers were searching for on, the county’s official tourism website.


People volunteering at Beamish

As 2022 began, our website visitors were looking for Things to Do and Events as the new year got underway. The website landing page for our national destination marketing campaign ‘This is Durham, This is for you’ also made the list of the top 5 most popular pages, as consumers searched for ideas and inspiration for the year ahead.

Attractions, Walking Routes, Restaurants and Accommodation also made the top 10 list, showing consumers were keen to start planning their 2022 visits.


As remaining lockdown restrictions were lifted website visitors were once again searching for Things to Do and Attractions across the county. The annual Durham City Fire and Ice Festival was the most popular page on the site that month, with the county’s Lunar New Year celebrations also featuring in the top 10.

Ahead of its April opening, a blog featuring a new family attraction, the Plotters’ Forest at Raby Castle, was the 9th most popular page.

Fire and ice sculpture


Family at High Force

As the weather started to get milder, content about Walking Routes across the county made a return to the list of most popular web pages, along with our dedicated content on Attractions and Family Fun. And with consumers starting to consider spring city breaks, the Durham City page made the top 10 list.

The ‘Only in Durham’ destination marketing campaign launched, highlighting the incredible things that can only be experienced in the county, driving traffic to the site for consumers to discover unmissable attractions and activities.


With Easter approaching our dedicated Attractions, Accommodation, Family Fun and Easter Events web pages all made the top 10 list, as consumers planned their spring visits and half term getaways.

Spring flower outside the Durham Cathedral


Queen's Jubilee logo

In May Durham Pride proved to be the most popular page on the site, with the annual event making its first return since it was cancelled due to Covid. And as thoughts started to turn to the Platinum Jubilee, our dedicated Jubilee Events, Accommodation and Attractions pages all made the top 10 most popular web page that month as consumers started to plan ahead to make the most of the 4-day Bank Holiday weekend in June.

Also in May the county’s UK City of Culture bid drew to a close, with Bradford securing the title. However, with £8m worth of media coverage generated by the Durham 2025 campaign, and with the county making the final shortlist, the bidding process succeeded in shining a spotlight on the county and raising the profile of the destination.


As news is announced of the return of the Durham Miners’ Gala, which had been cancelled for the previous two years due to Covid, the page made the top 10 list, along with the Jubilee Events page which continued to be popular.

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

Durham Miners Gala


Cricket in Durham

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 International Cricket taking place in Chester-le-Street, and the Durham Brass festival, which both made the top 10 web pages list. Attractions and Family Fun pages remained in the top 10 list as school summer holidays drew nearer.


The summer of fun continued throughout August, with some of the county’s key annual events taking place. Seaham Food Festival was the 4th most popular web page that month, whilst Kynren entered in 6th position. Accommodation and Attraction pages also made the top 10 list, with summer holiday planning in full gear.

man preparing food at Seaham Food Festival


People cycling in the Durham Dales

Things to see and do across the county and what’s on information continued to prove popular as summer started to draw to a close. The Tour of Britain also made the list of the top 10 most popular web pages, ahead of Durham City hosting a stage start for the prestigious cycling race for the first time.

Accommodation was the 5th most popular page that month, with consumers planning post-school holiday getaways, or looking ahead to an autumn break.


As autumn gets underway the change in season start to drive traffic to the site, with the dedicated landing pages for Halloween and Bonfire Night all appearing in the top 10, along with Things to Do and Attractions.

Our latest national destination marketing campaign also launched that month, with activity including an advertorial in the Guardian Travel Guide, and online content with the Birmingham Mail and Manchester Evening News, driving traffic to the dedicated ‘Memorable Moments’ campaign content hub on

A family walking at High Force in autumn


Durham Christmas Festival

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, Christmas Markets and the Durham Christmas Festival all made the top 10 list of most popular pages.

And following the launch of the ‘Memorable Moments’ destination marketing campaign the previous month, the dedicated web page also made the top 10 list.


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 and Markets also making the top 10 list.

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 2022, 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