More tourists are visiting the Wealden area

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Tourists spent £44 million more in Wealden last year as the numbers of day visitors reached six million.

“I am delighted that our latest economic impact results continue to show that the value of tourism, in terms of money spent in Wealden, has increased by 1.7% in 2011,” said Councillor Roy Galley, Cabinet Portfolio Holder with responsibility for tourism.

“This demonstrates the valuable contribution that tourism makes in strengthening the Wealden economy by boosting the amount of money that visitors spend when they visit.”

The results are published in the 2011 Tourism Impact Study commissioned to report on the value, volume and economic impact of one the District’s biggest business sectors.

Highlights include: the value of tourism in terms of direct expenditure to Wealden increased by 1.7% to £286,843,000. This includes expenditure by second home owners and hosts.

Approximately 6,000,000 tourism day trips were made to Wealden District (lasting more than three hours and taken on an irregular basis) in 2011, compared to 5,901,000 in 2010). These visits generated £176,023,000 in income.

Overnight stays numbered 1,705,000 nights in the district, compared to 1,694,000 nights in 2010.

The staying guests spent more: The overnight visitors spent £70,600,000, a 1.1% rise on 2010. Tourism supported 4,798 full time equivalent jobs (FTE) which represent 11.6% of all jobs in Wealden and a 1.5% rise on 2010’s 6,642 FTE jobs.

“I am pleased that we are seeing more visitor money spent in the district which is in keeping with the aims of our Wealden Tourism Strategy,” said Cllr Galley.

“There continues to be a need for high quality accommodation in the District. This means there are opportunities out there for people with imaginative proposals which fit in with Wealden’s natural attractions. Despite the weather we have seen this summer, I am hopeful that 2012’s results will be even better than 2011.”

Wealden District Council is currently undertaking a disability access study of visitor destinations with the help of Tourism for All. This will help to ensure premises are making the most of this important sector of the market. For more information please contact Brian Seaman at brian@tourismforall.org.uk. Alternatively contact our Economic Development team on 01892 602887.

For a copy of the full report please contact the Economic Development & Tourism team on 01892 602884 or email: regeneration@wealden.gov.uk .

For further information:

Cllr Roy Galley,

Cabinet Member for Planning & Development

Wealden District Council.

Tel: 01825 713018

Email: cllr.roy.galley@wealden.gov.uk

Or

Jim van den Bos,

Communications Officer,

Wealden District Council.

Tel: 01892 602745

Email: jim.vandenbos@wealden.gov.uk

Sarah King,

Economic Development Manager

Wealden District Council.

Tel: 01892 602884

Email: sarah.king@wealden.gov.uk