Latest figures show 'significant growth' in Derbyshire's tourist sector

Tourism in the Peak District and Derbyshire is now worth 2.3 billion pounds to the local economy, according to the latest figures

Latest figures reveal the Peak District and Derbyshire’s tourism sector is now worth £2.3 billion to the local economy, with 42 million people visiting the area in 2018 and supporting over 30,000 jobs – marking another year of significant growth and a remarkable 7.4% increase on the previous year.

New research released by official tourist board Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire reveals significant yet sustainable growth across the area’s tourism industry.

In line with the tourist board’s long-term strategy to increase overnight stays and visitor spend, the area saw a 13.5% increase in overnight stays in 2018 with an extra 504,000 bed nights across the region. Meanwhile day visitor levels were maintained with a moderate 1.3% increase on last year.

The rise in overnight stays has contributed to the significant increase in the overall value of the sector, with overnight visitor spend increasing by 19%, contributing to a total spend of £823 million during 2018.

The sector continues to support and sustain a significant amount of jobs across the area, with the number increasing by 5.2% and breaking the 30,000 mark for the first time.

As well as highlighting the value of the tourism industry to the local economy, the latest figures also support the area’s bid to become a national Tourism Action Zone. Following the announcement of the Tourism Sector Deal in June, it was revealed that the Government is looking to create a number of Tourism Action Zones, which would offer opportunities to secure funding and support for selected areas to boost their visitor economy.

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, said: “This is fantastic news for the visitor economy in the Peak District and Derbyshire. The significant rise in tourism’s overall value signals that our long-term policy to run innovative marketing campaigns that showcase the area as a great place to stay is really paying off.

“We know that these are testing times with the uncertainty around Brexit, however, our recent business survey suggests that confidence is high with 68% of respondents experiencing an increase in bookings during 2019.

“We are very lucky to be part of a very strong partnership across Derbyshire working together to raise the profile of the destination. A great example of this is the Derbyshire Culture, Heritage and Tourism Board which was set up last year to drive investment into the sector, sharing our vision to increase overnight stays and supporting our tactical marketing campaigns to extend the season, which all help to maintain jobs.”

Paul Jones, Chairman of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, said: “We are really pleased with the STEAM results, which confirm our strong tourism offer and demonstrate how the Peak District and Derbyshire can really deliver as a Tourism Action Zone. This will be our focus over the coming months, as we work closely with our visitor economy partners to make a case for our world-class destination to become one of the first Tourism Action Zones.”

James Berresford, Chair of the Derbyshire Culture, Heritage and Tourism Board, said: “This significant increase in the value of tourism is fantastic news. Derbyshire is a wonderful destination, proved by the fact that people are voting with their feet.

“It is very encouraging to see the growth in overnight stays, which proves that more visitors are choosing to stay for longer than a day. This has led to an increase in visitor spend in the area, which is great news for local businesses and clearly demonstrates the importance of the tourism industry to the local economy.”

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