Tourism brings £2.9 billion to Essex economy

Politics / Tue 3rd Dec 2013 pm31 12:49pm

A NEW report shows Essex tourism contributed £2.9 billion to the Essex economy in the year that saw the county host the London 2012 Olympic Mountain Bike events at Hadleigh Farm and Country Park.

Initial findings from the Economic Impact of Tourism 2012 report, due to be published by Tourism South East early next year, show that the overall value of Essex tourism was up by £65 million compared to 2011. The number of trips taken in the county increased by 891,737 and tourism-related jobs rose by 1,252.

George Kieffer, Chairman, Visit Essex said “These figures show that tourism contributes a substantial amount to the local economy and it is heartening to see such positive figures for the Olympic year. Essex is a fantastic destination for day visits or short breaks and with Christmas nearly upon us I would really recommend people wrap up warm, get out and discover new parts of Essex not previously visited.”

Visit Essex, the official tourism body for the county, announced these figures at their members’ annual conference at Down Hall Country House Hotel last Wednesday. Over 300 members from local tourism businesses attended the event where industry experts including James Berresford, Chief Executive at Visit England, Gwénaël Merlin, Director of Partnerships at Trip Advisor and Bernard Donoghue from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions delivered presentations. The experts focused on delivering excellent customer service, increasing visitors and how we can showcase Essex’s uniqueness. The conference was a great opportunity for Essex businesses to network and form new partnerships.

Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth commented: “We are thrilled that so many members attended the conference yesterday to benefit from leading industry experts. Visit Essex aims to promote tourism, increase visitor numbers and the length of visits as well as generate income for the county. The conference was an ideal opportunity to share these fantastic figures which clearly show we are well on target to see 10% growth over a 3 year period from 2012 to 2015 as outlined in our Business Plan.”

George Kieffer continued “everything we do is for, and on behalf of our members. We work with visitor attractions, accommodation providers and other tourism related businesses to ensure that the county remains a leading visitor destination. Local tourism and hospitality businesses that would like to find out more about becoming a member can visit www.visitessex.com”

Residents wanting to explore what’s on their doorstep can find out more about local attractions by visiting www.visitessex.com.

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