Cheshire East on track to reach £1bn tourism target

Cheshire East has seen a 3.2% boost to its visitor economy, with the total value of hospitality and visitor revenue for the region reaching £921 million, writes Angie Cronin.

The increase in income for 2017 compared to 2016 has put the borough on track to achieve its target of reaching a visitor economy of £1 billion by 2020.

The average visitor spend per head rose from £55.85 in 2016 to £57.74 in 2017, although the statistics show a slight decrease in the number of visitors, down by 0.2% to 15.95 million.

However, the figures do highlight an increase in the number of staying visitors, the value of which increased by 6.3% to £241 million.

Overnight stays in 2017 injected £200 million into the hotel industry – an increase of 6.6% on the previous year.

Research also shows that there has been a 69.3% increase in the value of the visitor economy to Cheshire East since the borough came into being in 2009.

Cheshire East leader Rachel Bailey said: “We are delighted that more people are discovering what the borough has to offer. Some visitors come for the shows – Nantwich, Royal Cheshire, the RHS Flower Show (pictured) – or concerts, including Rewind and Blue Dot festivals.

“Other visitors came to see our great historic places of interest, our breathtaking countryside, or to explore our canals and rivers. Many choose to stay overnight in our quality hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, which are good value.”

Continuing investment in the borough’s heritage attractions at Tatton Park, Quarry Bank Mill and Jodrell Bank, could lead to a further boost in numbers as the projects develop, said the council.

The figures are calculated through Steam, (the Scarborough Tourism Economic Analysis Monitor) – an accredited method of calculation used by many visitor destinations.