Wednesday, 09 November 2016 09:48

National Park beats tourism target

Written by  Ruralcity Media
National Park beats tourism target

RURAL tourism is thriving in north-east England, reveals a new report commissioned by Northumberland National Park Authority.

Tourism figures for 2015 show that visitors are spending more and staying longer in the Park, contributing £76.44m to the rural economy and supporting 1,128 jobs.

This performance excels the target set by the National Park Authority to grow tourism revenue from visitors to £75.8m in 2015.

Park authority chairman Glen Sanderson said: "We very much want visitors to first and foremost enjoy it but also to make a positive contribution to the economy of the area.

"The economic target set for the year was to increase the value of tourism from visitors to £75.8m and we are delighted to have surpassed it so substantially.

Councillor Sanderson said beating the target was great news for the wider region.

"Growth in tourism is a key means by which the North East can close the economic performance gap with the rest of the UK.

"The report shows that during the last five years Northumberland National Park's tourism economy has grown faster in relative terms than the UK economy."

A national landscape discovery centre will be launched in the Park next year. Known as the Sill, it is a £14.8m investment, including £7.8m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Sill is an all-weather facility which will act as a gateway for visitors to explore the wider county and other protected landscapes.

It aims to will attract over 100,000 visitors per year and deliver substantial economic benefits by contributing an estimated £2.5m per annum to the north-east region economy.

The project will give significant support to the rural economy by providing new employment opportunities and opportunities for skills development and training.

The National Park tourism study is an annual report used by National Parks across the country to quantify the local economic impact of tourism from both staying and day visitors.

It analyses a variety of factors including visitor attraction numbers, tourist accommodation, events attendance and occupancy levels throughout the year.

The tourism report shows that Northumberland National Park currently attracts 1.76m visitors to the area per year, of which 1.41m are day visitors and 350,000 stay overnight.

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Peter Leppard)

    Report

    While boosting the local economy is of course good in many ways, the corollary of more visitors is more cars (given the meagre (or non-existent) public transport in most National Parks) and some National Park Authorities are much keener to encourage visitors than to concern themselves with how all the extra cars will be accommodated. There needs to be a mindset change to achieve a more rounded approach by NPAs.

  • Guest (Peter Samsom)

    In reply to: Guest (Peter Leppard) Report

    Northumberl;and National Park, and tourism bodies in the North East in general, seem to have focused on encouraging visitors to stay longer and spend more money rather than necessarily have more visitors, although we could accommodate more. The work on Dark Skies and associated visits is a case in point: we now have quite a few businesses that do bespoke dark skies packages. There is also an excellent network of electric car charging points allowing visitors in electric cars to explore the Park

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