Leicestershire tourism ‘booming’, show new figures

More than 33 million people visited Leicester and Leicestershire last year, with a million more visitors choosing to spend time in the area in 2016 than in the previous year.

According to new figures published this summer, 10.81m people visited the city of Leicester last year, compared with 10.36m in 2015 – while visitors to Leicestershire were up from 21.82m in 2015 to 22.58m.

This means that tourism is now worth more than £600m to the city’s economy and £1.156bn to the county’s.

The increase in numbers – and the 5% rise in the value of tourism to both areas over the last 12 months – has been welcomed by City Mayor Peter Soulsby and County Council leader Nick Rushton.

“These figures show that the city is continuing to grow as a visitor destination, with record numbers of people choosing to spend time in our city,” said the City Mayor.

“The data from 2016 reflects the ongoing appeal of attractions such as the National Space Centre and the King Richard III Visitor Centre, but our visitor numbers were also boosted by Leicester City’s phenomenal year.

“With the world’s media and new fans flocking to Leicester for the victory parade in May, and the additional draw of the Champions League group stage games, it’s not surprising that 2016 was a bumper year for visitors.

“Tourism is now a vital strand of our Economic Action Plan, generating more than £1.7 billion for Leicester and Leicestershire every year.”

County council leader Nick Rushton said: “Tourism across the city and county is on the up. Leicestershire has much to offer, including history, picturesque countryside, food, heritage, waterways and retail. This rich mix is drawing visitors and the fact that one million more people have visited Leicestershire is great news.

“The knock-on effects for the economy in terms of job creation underlines that Leicester and Leicestershire are most definitely open for business.”

The number of tourism-related jobs has also risen, with more than 22,000 people now employed in the sector across the county – an increase of 2.8% on 2015.

In Leicester, there’s been a 15% rise in the number of jobs in the tourism sector over the last six years, with nearly 7,500 people now working in the industry.

* Original article published on The BusinessDesk.com 7 September 2017 *