2015 was another record year for Wiltshire tourism – the fourth consecutive year.
Headline figures from the new 2015 Swindon & Wiltshire Economic Impact study highlight an increase in staying visitor trips who are choosing to spread their visiting pattern more evenly across the year, benefiting Wiltshire tourism businesses.
The report shows that in 2015 staying visits, visitor spend and economic impact are all at record levels. Wiltshire’s visitor economy is worth £1.53bn (+4%) per annum and supports over 29,000 jobs.
2015 figures show a significant improvement in seasonality for the first time, with the percentage of day and staying visitors coming to Wiltshire between October and December particularly strong, increasing from 25% to 29%.
The new report produced by the South West Research Company provides an analysis of tourism activity to the Swindon & Wiltshire area using the Cambridge Model, which has been consistently used across the South of England for a number of years.
It shows comparisons with previous years, analysis of spend by type and area, competitor destinations and overall economic contribution.
Peter Wragg, VisitWiltshire’s Chairman and Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership Board member, says “This report is hugely encouraging and gives further evidence of how important tourism is to our overall economy. Swindon & Wiltshire’s total annual tourism business turnover and GVA have increased by 35% since 2011 to £1,530m and £860m respectively.”
David Andrews, CEO VisitWiltshire, says, “This report is a terrific endorsement of our marketing efforts as we continue to support over 600 tourism businesses. We have seen a growth in new start-up businesses and off season events and we’re working hard to encourage more of both. Wiltshire attracted a record 1.84m staying visitors in 2015 (+5%), spending a record £368m (+4%).”
As well as being good news for existing tourism businesses across the county, the report will be welcomed by anyone looking at setting up a new tourism business in Wiltshire as it provides strong evidence of growth potential.