Visits to tourist attractions across England were up 5% year on year in 2013, according to a study by VisitEngland.

The domestic tourism authority’s Annual Attractions’ Survey found gross revenue for the sector was also up by 5% in spite of “challenging economic conditions”.

VisitEngland said attractions which had invested in marketing and digital platforms managed to boost visitor numbers and make more money.

The number of attractions offering a mobile app more than doubled to 18%, while very few still operated without a website.

Some 21% offered an online booking facility, while Facebook and Twitter were increasingly used as marketing channels.

James Berresford, the chief executive of VisitEngland, said: “Attractions are core to England’s tourism offering. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful and wide variety of indoor and outdoor attractions to suit all visitors.

“With a 5% increase in both visitor numbers and gross revenue for 2013, our attractions continue to contribute greatly to the visitor economy and show enormous potential for future growth.

“It’s clear that investment into the sector is key and the benefits are evident in the results for attractions continuously investing in both marketing and digital platforms.”

The survey found attraction owners who invested in a digital communications platform over and above just a website and online booking facility had increased gross revenue by 6%.

Those without a digital strategy grew only 3% on average.

Visits to London attractions were up 8%, followed by a 6% increase in the North East and 5% in the East Midlands.