A New Visitor Economy Strategy for Lancashire

10 June 2014

Marketing Lancashire, the county’s destination management organisation (DMO), is leading on a new Visitor Economy Strategy (VES) and Destination Management Plan (DMP) for Lancashire and has appointed specialist consultants Blue Sail, to develop the strategy and plan.

Blue Sail is a company renowned nationally for the successful delivery of visitor economy strategies and was selected in May, following a competitive tender.  They will soon commence a series of interviews and workshops with an extensive list of stakeholders. The contribution of both public and private sector to this process will be vital and the strategy will be completed by the end of 2014.

‘The Visitor Economy: a Potential Powerhouse of Local Growth’ was published by the Local Government Association in June 2013 to promote how areas in the UK are creatively and successfully using the visitor economy as a catalyst for economic growth to benefit the wider region. The role of Lancashire’s own visitor economy in contributing to the county’s economic footprint is clearly recognised with the visitor economy identified as an emerging priority sector for economic growth through the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) Growth Plan.

Lancashire attracts 62 million visitors who generate £3.4 billion revenue and support 55,000 jobs (Source: STEAM 2012). Lancashire’s visitor economy is second only to Manchester in the North West and, in 2012, Lancashire welcomed over 20 million more visitors than Cumbria and the Lakes. Trend data for the last 3 years (2010-2012) shows overall growth in the value of Lancashire’s visitor economy of 4.5% during this period.

Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire said “The visitor economy has now been recognised as a significant contributor to the prosperity of Lancashire but we believe, through a strategic and more connected approach, that there is even greater potential for the visitor economy to support the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan by creating the right conditions for growth and job creation within the sector and wider supply chain.

“With the establishment of Marketing Lancashire in 2012, the county is now in a position to make a real step-change towards achieving the wider ambitions of Lancashire, as the destination of choice for business, investment, educational studies as well as for short breaks and day visits.”        

 “Together with Blue Sail we aim to establish a robust framework that will lead, influence and co-ordinate sector development and the delivery of measurable growth across the county.”

The Visitor Economy Strategy (VES) will set out the sector’s vision and strategic objectives over the next five years, as well as its role in supporting wider economic growth. The creation of the VES will be accompanied by a Destination Management Plan (DMP) clearly identifying investment priorities and activity that will be delivered by key stakeholders across this period.

Michele Grant, Director, Blue Sail said “We’re delighted to have been selected to develop the VES and the DMP for Lancashire. Over the coming months we will be working with stakeholders across the County to develop a VES that plays to the strengths of Lancashire, creates a focus for the future and a DMP that will set out the actions to help deliver the successful growth and management of the visitor economy”.


For Media enquiries please contact:

Anna Izza  Head of PR and Communications   01772 426 459

Laura Crabb PR and Communications Executive 01772 426 456


Notes to Editors

1.         Marketing Lancashire is the Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for Lancashire, established (1st April 2012).   Our activities in marketing and communications, commercial membership and place marketing are all designed to grow the visitor economy and develop the profile of Lancashire as the first choice destination to visit, live, study, work and invest in.

In 2012 Lancashire attracted 62 million visitors who contributed around £3.4 billion to the local economy and helped support 54,804 jobs. 

2.         Blue Sail is a tourism consultancy, specialising in the visitor economy.  Since Blue Sail was set up seven years ago, it has worked with over 100 places and partnerships across the UK and in Ireland.  The company works with cities, regions, islands, tourist boards, national parks, world heritage sites and individual visitor attractions on development, management, marketing, business planning and partnerships.

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