Record high for value of tourism in Leicester and Leicestershire

Leicester Shire Promotions has announced that the value of tourism to Leicester and Leicestershire has grown for the sixth consecutive year to reach a record high of £1.571 billion.

This is a six per cent rise on the previous year and a total increase of over 20 per cent over the last six years.

The latest research into the performance of the tourism industry* also shows that:

• the economic impact of tourism in Leicester in 2014 was £541 million, up from £512 million in the previous year
• the economic impact value in Leicestershire was £1.030 billion compared to £969 million in 2013
• 30.41 million tourists visited Leicester and Leicestershire in 2014, which equates to 36.64 million tourist days
• tourism supported over 20,700 jobs in Leicester and Leicestershire in 2014

Further research announced in June 2015, conducted by STR Global, indicated that levels for hotel occupancy, Average Daily Rate (average rental rate for a single room) and RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) had all increased on the year to date for accommodation providers in Leicester and Leicestershire.

Leicester Shire Promotions has also revealed that the company’s destination marketing, conference and event bidding, and unique and highly successful Stay Play Explore short break campaigns resulted in over 50,000 bednights directly booked into city and county hotels during 2014.

Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions said: “These figures demonstrate that tourism is making an important and growing contribution to the economy of Leicester and Leicestershire. This strong growth in the visitor economy in the city and county has been achieved by a number of strategic factors including continued improvements to the quality of the visitor experience and tightly focused destination marketing activity.

“With local visitor attractions including Conkers, the National Space Centre and Twycross Zoo all announcing major visitor milestones recently and major infrastructure developments planned for Connecting Leicester, King Richard III, Foxton Locks and others, we are confident that this sustained growth will be a continuing trend for future years,” Martin added.

Chas Bishop, Chief Executive of the National Space Centre and Chairman of Leicester Shire Promotions, commented: “This is more welcome news for an industry that provides fantastic experiences and facilities for locals as well as holiday-makers. The growth of Leicester and Leicestershire as a genuine tourism destination is brilliant for the economy and for people looking for an exciting and rewarding job.”

James Conaghan, General Manager of Mercure Leicester The Grand Hotel said: "The figures clearly demonstrate that tourism is playing a significant part in growing the city and county economies. We at the Grand Hotel have seen significant growth, both in occupancy and rate for the past three years helped by attracting events such as the Federation of Small Businesses national conference, UKInbound, King Richard III and of course, the forthcoming Rugby World Cup."

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: "This is further evidence that we are welcoming more visitors to the city than ever before. There is no doubt that Leicester now has a greater confidence in its draw as a place that people want to visit. Tourism has an important role to play in the economic growth of the city over the coming years, and these latest figures are great news for residents and businesses alike."

* The Leicester and Leicestershire research was conducted by Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM). It is the eleventh major consecutive study into the economic impact of tourism at a destination level and is based on 2014 data.

The research has been undertaken by Global Tourism Solutions (UK) Ltd which owns and operates the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM), which approaches the measurement of tourism at a local level from the supply side (i.e. accommodation, attractions). STEAM quantifies the local economic impact of tourism, from both stay and day visitors.

Last updated September 2015