Importance of tourism for Worcestershire’s economy

Severn Valley Railway Web PicA recent report, commissioned by the LEP found that one tenth of the county’s workforce – equating to more than 25,000 jobs – is employed in tourism related industries.  Tourism related businesses account for 5.7% of all Worcestershire firms.

The report found that total visitor expenditure to Worcestershire stands at £538 million, the majority coming from ‘domestic day visitors’.  ‘Domestic overnight visitors’ account for around £100 million of this amount.   Nearly 60% of all tourism expenditure  is for events such as fairs and exhibitions.  Food and beverage services receive the next highest percentage of expenditure at 23%.

There are wide variations within Worcestershire’s districts with  Wychavon, Worcester City and the Malvern Hills being the most popular destinations.  The West Midlands Safari Park, based in Kidderminster, is one of the most important individual visitor attractions in the county in terms of number of visitors.  The Severn Valley Railway and the Malvern Hills are also popular, as are events at the Three Counties Showground and the annual Worcester city centre Victorian Christmas Fayre.

Tourism has been identified by WLEP as one of its five key industry sectors.  The research was commissioned in order to understand the current state of tourism in Worcestershire and to provide a comprehensive overview of the sector.

Gary Woodman, Executive Director at WLEP, says: “We wanted to understand the value of tourism to Worcestershire’s economy and to find out more about the people who come to our county.  The report has been useful in establishing a benchmark and for providing us with information that will be invaluable  for formulating the LEP’s future strategy with regard to the tourism sector.  It will certainly assist in defining the areas for growth and the opportunities for more and better services and facilities”

To read the full report, click: The Value of Tourism in Worcestershire Final Report March 2013.