Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a world-class visitor destination welcoming approximately 500,000 visitors annually and is the leading attraction on the South Coast. It provides an experience that spans 800 years of British naval history and there is nowhere else in the UK that you can celebrate the Royal Navy, past, present and future in the same way that Portsmouth Historic Dockyard can boast. As such, the Historic Dockyard plays an important part in delivering the Royal Navy's Heritage Strategy and displaying its significance to the public.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Ltd (PHDL) is the central service organisation which represents the attractions on site; namely The Mary Rose Museum, HMS Warrior 1860, HMS Victory, National Museum of the Royal Navy, Action Stations and Harbour Tours. It is a charitable trust owned by each of the attractions and carries out the visitor welcome, ticketing, marketing, public relations, advance sales, group and education bookings, major events and ticket sales reconciliation on their behalf.
The primary aim of PHDL is to generate income and channel it back into the site to the attractions, all of which are in themselves charitable trusts "for the purposes of educating the public, to promote and assist in the display, understanding and enjoyment by the public of the ships, buildings, land and docks in the Historic Dockyard."; the attractions therefore rely heavily on this income.
PHDL is a member of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and as such shares good practice and industry knowledge with other organisations including the National Trust, English Heritage and many of the major national museums and attractions in England, Scotland and Wales. The team work closely with Visit Britain, Visit England, Tourism South East, Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council, Spinnaker Tower and Gunwharf Quays as leading partners in tourism for the region and invest in joint marketing campaigns promoting Portsmouth as a visitor destination.
Most visitors are UK 'walk-up' visitors but 15-20% come from overseas; many are pre-booked groups (schools, colleges, language schools, adult education groups) and travel trade (tour operators, coach operators, independent group travel organisers).
Events play an important role in the development of the Historic Dockyard including A Victorian Festival of Christmas and Navy Days, the latter being run on a partnership basis with the Naval Base; this partnership working is a key part of PHDL's values and our excellent relationship with our Naval Base partners is greatly valued. There is an excellent programme of other events throughout the attractions all year round.
The site is also popular for business conferences, corporate hospitality, weddings and team building days which are provided by all the attractions. HMS Warrior 1860 is one of the most sought-after wedding locations, having welcomed more than a quarter of a million guests onboard for various events and Action Stations feature a 275 seat modern auditorium.