The data suggests that there has been an increase of 26% in the value of tourism compared to the 2021 figures offering a much-welcomed boost for businesses, including a 30% increase in overnight stays resulting in 1.1 million trips.
Day trips to Worcestershire’s towns, villages, countryside and attractions remain key indicators for visiting. However, the data suggests a growing market of overnight stays which in time will generate even further value to the economy with visitors spending longer in Worcestershire.
Tourism enterprise growth which includes the amount of new business startups has seen a sharp increase of 15.9% in Worcestershire since 2016, compared to the national average of 9.4%. Demonstrating the markets of opportunity created in the past few years with visitors seeking alternative destinations compared to the traditional coastal towns and well-established UK cities.
The visitor economy also contributes locally with job opportunities, with a total of 19,547 jobs related to tourism in Worcestershire. An increase of 18% in employment has been recorded compared to 2021 figures, resulting in employment levels recovering back to pre-pandemic numbers.
Councillor Marc Bayliss, Cabinet Member for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills at Worcestershire County Council, said: “The most recent figures highlight the visitor economy’s importance to Worcestershire, not only generating value economically but creating new opportunities for enterprise and growth. The recent increase in overnight stays showcases Worcestershire’s growing popularity as a destination with visitors who are spending longer in the county. I look forward to supporting the work of Visit Worcestershire with the launch of a new Destination Management Plan.”
Although the value of tourism to Worcestershire has not yet quite returned to pre-pandemic levels, with a current -5% difference. Visit Worcestershire are currently setting out plans to launch a brand-new Destination Management Plan, working towards creating a billion-pound visitor economy.
Lorna Robinson, Visitor Economy Manager at Visit Worcestershire said: “It is fantastic to see how the value of tourism across the county has bounced back after what has been a really difficult few years for the sector. This gives us the confidence to move forward and put in place the building blocks for growth to help the sector thrive and grow. As we start setting out our new Destination Management Plan, Worcestershire will be creating a billion pound visitor economy putting the county on the map as a destination of choice nationally and internationally. “
Visit Worcestershire is now recognised by VisitEngland as a Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) which follows ‘The de Bois Review’, a government independent review into Destination Management Organisations and the wider regional tourism landscape. The official status confirms the partnership between the national tourism body and Visit Worcestershire to help shape and grow the county’s visitor economy.