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Tourism in Essex on the up, bringing in over £2 billion

Entertainment / Fri 1st Dec 2023 at 05:15pm

TOURISM in Essex has bounced back to near pre-pandemic levels in 2022. Visit Essex is at the forefront of promoting tourism across the county and, thanks to a series of targeted national and local campaigns, reports tourism up 36% on the previous year. 

In 2022, 50.3 million day trips took place in Essex, up from 37.1 million in 2021, with day trips bringing in just over £2 billion. There were 2.1 million overnight stays across the county in 2022, boosted from 1.5 million the year before, bringing in over £465 million to the county.

Leading the call for visits and staycations to the county, Visit Essex worked hard to showcase Essex’s standout 350-mile coastline, top places to stay and eat, plus visitor attractions.

Councillor Mark Durham, Chair of Visit Essex, said: “Visit Essex has been leading the charge to showcase our county in all its glory. We’re showing visitors that you can see and do it all in Essex: enjoy miles of stunning countryside, a beautiful coastline, experience history and heritage, plus a warm welcome. We also have some of the finest hotels, B&Bs and glamping sites, plus top visitor attractions from Adventure Island to Colchester Zoo.”

He continued: “We’re delighted with the latest set of financial results. The Essex tourist economy is almost at pre-pandemic levels, and we feel very confident that 2023 will also see a further growth in these figures.”

Visit Essex has also recently been accredited with Local Visitor Economic Partnership (LVEP) status from VisitEngland. One of 26 LVEPs so far in England, Visit Essex will partner with the national tourist organisation to further support and grow the visitor economy in Essex.

Lisa Bone, Tourism and Place Marketing Manager at Visit Essex, is really pleased to be elevating Essex’s profile as a tourism destination. She said: “We recently applied for and gained LVEP status, which is an exciting development for Visit Essex. With this status, we will be able to develop relationships with other local areas, increase income generation for the tourism industry in Essex and access training opportunities for our members to develop their skills and expertise.”

She continued: “It’s a great opportunity to gain support to boost the profile of tourism in Essex and showcase everything we have to offer in our county.”

The LVEP Programme is part of a new national vision for England’s tourism management landscape, as recommended by the independent Review of Destination Management Organisations (DMO). VisitEngland worked in close consultation with more than 100 participants to develop the initiative, holding a series of roundtables across England in Autumn 2022.

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “Local Visitor Economy Partnerships (LVEPs) are at the heart of transforming the visitor economy landscape in England and we are delighted to welcome Visit Essex onto the programme.

“We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with Visit Essex as the LVEP is established, providing ongoing support including a dedicated VisitEngland regional development lead.

“Having the right national and local infrastructure in place to grow our visitor economy, in an inclusive, accessible and sustainable way, will ensure England continues to be a compelling destination for both domestic and international visitors.”

To find out more about Visit Essex’s campaigns, the LVEP status, and things to do in Essex, see www.visitessex.com

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