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Tourism brings £275m to East Herts and visitor numbers boom

Tourism in East Herts is booming according to latest figures, which show that 4.25 million visits brought £275m to the district.

The independent research commissioned by Visit Herts revealed an impressive picture across the county, with strong visitor numbers, a high volume of day trips and overnight stays.

East Herts had 4m day trips and 250,000 longer visits in 2017. The average length of longer visits was 5.5 days.

Tourism supports 5,164 jobs in the district, with the industry now accounting for 7% of East Herts' total employment.

Cllr Gary Jones, the district council's executive member for economic development and a Bishop’s Stortford representative, said: “There’s something to please all visitors to East Herts.

"Five delightful historic towns are surrounded by stunning countryside with some wonderful attractions. Pubs, restaurants and accommodation offer high-quality food and facilities to appeal to every taste and budget.

“It’s no surprise that there were more than four million visits to East Herts in 2017 and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors.”

Using the industry-respected Cambridge Economic Impact Model, this new research measured the volume and value of tourism in Hertfordshire in 2017, and the impact of visits and visitor expenditure on the local economy.

This is the second time that the volume, value and employment of all 10 Hertfordshire districts have been included in the countywide research, and these latest results show a healthy picture across the county when measured against 2015’s baseline figures.

Hertfordshire’s visitor economy has increased by 6% and topped £2.2 billion for the first time ever, after welcoming a record 28 million visitors in 2017.

Tourism supports more than 40,000 jobs for residents of the county and for those living near it, with the industry now accounting for 8% of Hertfordshire’s total employment.

David Curtis-Brignell, deputy chief executive of Visit Herts, said: “Tourism is the UK’s fastest-growing service sector and these figures demonstrate the contribution which our vital industry makes to the economy of Hertfordshire.

"Since Visit Herts launched just over three years ago, we’ve run three successful Herts Big Weekend campaigns, created a new tourism website, won additional Government support from the Discover England Fund and have welcomed more and more partners across the public and private sector.

“We are delighted that the collective efforts of tourism businesses across the county have paid dividends and this partnership will be critical in ensuring that this growth continues during a challenging year ahead.”

Tim Burton, senior manager for Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “These figures demonstrate that Hertfordshire is a destination in its own right and a great place to live, work, visit and do business.

"The visitor economy is a vital part of that mix and central to attracting inward investment.

"Thanks to our programme of targeted investments and partnership working with our major businesses, visitor attractions and the hospitality sector, we are strengthening that offer year on year.”

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