Lancashire Tourism sector hits 67 million visitors
with more jobs, more visitors and increased spend revealed in latest figures
Today, Friday 6 October, Marketing Lancashire revealed the latest annual tourism figures have risen +4.5% to 67 million, jobs in the sector have increased by +2.6% to over 59,000 and the economic impact of the visitor economy has risen +5.3% to £4.13 billion.
Lancashire continues to excel as a destination for day visitors, thanks to a calendar packed full of unique and appealing year-round events and a wide range of attractions, with visitors on day trips to Lancashire having increased by +4.7% to 58.9million. The news is also positive for the county’s accommodation providers, as visitors choosing to stay for short breaks and holidays have also increased +2.9% to 8.3million with the average stay of 3.1 nights.
Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire commenting on the news said;
“We’re delighted to see another successive year of growth in visitor numbers as well as a marked year on year increase in both economic impact and jobs, endorsing the very valuable contribution that tourism continues to make to Lancashire’s prosperity.
“Our visitor economy strategy aims to see visitor numbers reach 70 million by 2020 so with continued investment in quality developments, new attractions, events, customer service excellence and our enviable reputation for a warm welcome, that goal is well within our grasp.”
“In 2016 Marketing Lancashire also commissioned the Lancashire Visitor Survey, the most comprehensive county-wide survey undertaken in recent years, to help us better understand our visitors, so that using the feedback from the survey and working with tourism partners and stakeholders across the county, we can attract more new visitors as well as ensuring our regulars come back again and again.”
The survey was undertaken by tourism research specialists, Tourism South East, during the main 2016 summer season July-Sept with a smaller sample in October- December. These sample groups included local visitors, people visiting from outside of Lancashire and people who have not visited Lancashire for some years.
Justina Ma, Business Manager at Marketing Lancashire, who led on the visitor survey project said “The survey highlighted the activities that our visitors enjoy in Lancashire including eating out, relaxing and enjoying the countryside and seaside, visiting attractions and shopping. It also reaffirmed the destination having a very strong reputation for its warmth of welcome and for being family friendly, easy to access and having a superb choice to offer visitors of all ages. This helps us to market more effectively using the key drivers of why our visitors chose to come to Lancashire.
“What we found most encouraging was the very high level of satisfaction amongst our visitors, with 90% rating Lancashire highly for overall enjoyment and over 90% saying they would recommend a visit to Lancashire to others which gives us great confidence for future growth.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Data source: Lancashire annual STEAM* economic impact report 2016 (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) a model used by many Destinations Management Organisations. It uses locally derived data from a variety of sources such as hotels, attractions, tourist information centres, events and other accommodation to estimate the number of visitors, revenue generated and employment supported by tourism. The model provides the county with a continuous tourism economic impact dataset which reveals trends and helps highlight areas of particular growth or in need of support.
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