2016 was a boom year for tourism

2016 was “a boom year” for tourism reveals new research

Tourism Forum to hear how small businesses are the backbone of the tourism industry

For every pound spent on marketing £43 is spent by tourists in the local economy


Prior to Wednesday’s annual Tourism Forum comes good news for the tourism industry.

VisitBritain’s latest figures reveal that 2016 was a boom year for day visitors, with national visitor numbers up 15% with spend up 11% to £54.8 billion. This is an increase of £5.4 billion year on year, which is a huge boost to the rural and seaside destinations as they are usually significant recipients of day visitors.

Tourism is a vital contributor to the regional economy with nearly 7,800 jobs and 8% of the workforce dependent on sectors including: accommodation providers, attractions, and food and drink producers.

Key statistics* for the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean

  • Total staying and day trips 6.8 million
  • Total visitor related spend £367.9 million
  • Total estimated actual employment 7,790 (5,602 full time employees)
  • Tourism accounts for 8% of all employment
  • Every pound spent on marketing generates £43 spent by tourists

Maureen McAllister, executive director of Wye Valley & Forest of Dean Tourism, says:

“Cultural and sporting events in 2016 attracted new visitors to the area who were delighted by the quality of our attractions, food and drink establishments.

“We know the effect of our work on the local economy: over £350 million of visitor related spend every year, nearly 8,000 jobs, six million day visitors. For every pound we spend on marketing, £43 is spent by tourists in the local economy.

Day Visitor survey results

  • The volume of day visits in Great Britain in the three months to November 2016 increased by +14% when compared with the same period last year, to 426 million.
  • During the same period, the value of those visits reached £16 billion, increasing by 10%.
  • Year to date, volume rose by +15% to 1.6 billion and value of visits increased by +11% to £54.7 billion.
  • Looking at England, volume increased by +12% in the three months to November 2016 reaching 358 million visits, with the value increasing by +4% to £13.3 billion compared to the same period in 2015.
  • Year to date the volume of day visits in England increased relative to the same period in 2015 by +14%, to 1.3 billion and the value rose by +7% to £45.3 billion.

The third annual Tourism Forum kicks off at 10am on Wednesday 11 January 2017 at Gloucestershire College, Forest of Dean Campus, Berry Hill, near Coleford.

Tickets cost £20 for WVFDT members and £32.50 for non-members.

*South West Tourism Research Company / WVFDT

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