Growth of Cheshire & Warrington’s Visitor Economy is accelerating
Tourism employs 35,889 (FTE) people directly and indirectly (8.8% more than in 2011), and attracted over 50.7 million visitors in 2012, a 7.9% increase on the previous year.
Last year, visitors spent £213.45 million on accommodation, £105.17 million on things to see and do, £963.47 million on shopping, and £509.42 million on food and drink.
By contrast tourism in the North West as a whole was 3.7% lower in 2012 than in the previous year.
Marketing Cheshire’s Chief Executive, Katrina Michel said: “We are very pleased with the latest independent evaluation on the visitor economy.
What’s fantastic is that tourism is helping to drive growth in the retail and hospitality sectors. Shopping and eating out are now very much part of the total visitor experience.
We have some great shopping in and around Chester but also some lovely market towns such as Nantwich and some “supervillages” like Tarporley and Alderley Edge with excellent retail and leisure.
And while the area’s day trip market is strong, there are still plenty of opportunities for overnight growth linked to existing and new events and festivals.
With more and more trains stopping at Crewe and good links to other stations, it is becoming easier to come for a weekend break and to enjoy some of our lovely hotels, spas and golf resorts.
It’s also encouraging to see a continuing resurgence in business tourism as the economy comes out of recession.
Warrington is recognised as one of Britain’s most attractive business locations and its visitor economy grew by over 13% last year largely driven by more business people choosing to visit and stay there.
There is undoubtedly a need for more high quality self-catering accommodation to meet the demand from wedding parties and group reunions, which are key trends in the market-place. Combermere Abbey is currently the holder of the award for Best UK Self Catering from Visit England which I hope will inspire others to follow suit.”
Marketing Cheshire is currently working with partners to gain maximum benefits for the area from the International Festival of Business taking place across Merseyside in June and July 2014 as well as The Open Golf Championship to be staged at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in July 2014.