Eastbourne enjoyed a record year for tourism, according to a new research report released this week, with more than five million people now visiting the resort throughout the year.
Attracting the highest number in over 20 years, the research report by Tourism South East based on visitors throughout 2014, shows an impressive increase, bucking the trend nationally in a year which saw visitors to England fall.
The fastest growing group of visitors are overseas tourists, increasing by 10 per cent, staying on average five nights more and spending 182 per cent more than domestic visitors.
Day visitors also grew by five per cent, spending 13 per cent more than usual, signalling the rise of the independent day tripper.
Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said, “This is a record year for Eastbourne and great news to see such a promising increase in overseas visitors and independent day trippers, whose spend within the town tends to be much higher.
“We’ve really upped our game in terms of overseas marketing and exhibitions, so it is great to see this paying dividends within our local economy.”
With visitors staying in town slightly longer, the overall visitor spend enjoyed a 7.5 per cent increase last year.
Food and drink accounted for more than a third of all spending, followed by accommodation 20 per cent, shopping 17 per cent, attractions/ entertainment 16 per cent and transport 12 per cent.
Eastbourne’s employment figures also saw a boost in 2014 with tourism supported jobs increasing by 7 per cent, with one in five local jobs now supported by tourism.
The study which examines the value, volume and economic impact of tourism, uses the Cambridge Model, widely recognised throughout the tourism industry and used by regional tourist boards over the last decade.
Using nationwide surveys, such as the United Kingdom Tourism Survey and the International Passenger Survey, the report also uses local surveys including room occupancy rates, attractions surveys and retail footfall to generate a computer model of tourism in Eastbourne.
The total value of tourism in Eastbourne, taking into account indirect and income induced spending is now estimated to be £380 million over the course of the year.
Key statistics from the 2014 report include:
Staying visitors 707,000
Bed nights 2,107,000
Staying visitors spend £167,836,000
Day visits 4,300,000
Day visitor spend £125,230,000
Overseas staying visitors 68,000
Overseas visitor spending £38,732,000
Total spending (removing expenditure outside of the town boundary) of £280,874,000 includes:
Food & Drink £97,960,000
Travel (spent within the town) £31,373,000
Tourism supported jobs 7,853
Total value of Tourism £379,562,000
To view the full report visit www.visiteastbourne.com/tourism.
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