Winchester tourism has grown 22 per cent in five years, new research says

Romsey Advertiser: Winchester tourism has grown 22 per cent in five years, new research says Winchester tourism has grown 22 per cent in five years, new research says

NEW research from Tourism South East shows that the growth of tourism in Winchester has grown by at least 22 per cent since 2008.

Visitors are spending more per visit although their stays are shorter, in line with international tourism trends.

According to the Economic Impact of Tourism study commissioned by Winchester City Council, 2012 was the strongest year yet for tourism in the city.

The number of visits is now over 4.9m as opposed to almost 4m in 2008 and 4.2m in 2010.

This jump in the last two years has added an additional £172m to the local economy between 2010-12 and the next survey, due to be carried out in 2014, is expected to show the total exceed 5m.

Although people are staying for less time – 2.41 nights in 2012 as opposed to 2.55 nights in 2010, they are spending 13.6 per cent more per trip while they are here which also contributes to the marked increase in value of tourism to the local economy.

The impact of these trends on businesses across the district is estimated to be a 6 per cent increase in turnover since 2010 – raising the value of the industry locally up to £308m compared £292m in 2010.

Ellen Simpson, Head of Tourism at Winchester City Council said: “We are delighted to see that Winchester’s tourism economy continues to prosper.

“Our aim over the last six years has been to create measurable and sustainable growth in the sector in a way that both enhances the visitor experience and also creates a positive impact on the bottom line of local businesses. Looking at these figures, we’re still on track – and the work does not stop, we’re building a new responsive website and will be developing sophisticated Apps to help us to keep evolving. Winchester City Robert Humby, deputy council leader, said: “Winchester City Council invests over £370,000 in tourism annually and we are delighted to see a return on investment that continues to build real results on the ground.

“The Destination Management Partnership we founded is an outcome-focused grouping of agencies, authorities and private sector businesses that have stripped aside district boundaries and traditional remits in order to speak more coherently to our visitors about our sense of place locally and all there is to experience here.

Winchester City Council’s tourism service is at the centre of this enterprising partnership and I would like to congratulate the team and all the partners they work with for their dedication and creativity in promoting Winchester internationally and nationally. It’s working.”

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