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15 December 2016

Visit Herts Releases Latest Picture Of Hertfordshire’s Visitor Economy

Tourism is worth more than £2.1 billion to Hertfordshire's economy, according to new research from Visit Herts.

Independent research commissioned by Visit Herts has revealed an impressive picture of tourism across the county, with more than 25 million visitors making day trips and overnight stays in Hertfordshire.

Tourism supports 38,000 jobs for both local residents, and those living nearby to the county, with the industry accounting for 7% of Hertfordshire's total employment.

Visit Herts CEO Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE said:
"These figures give us an excellent bench mark for moving Hertfordshire's visitor economy forward, and we look forward to seeing these visitors grow significantly in the future.

"Since our service launched at the end of 2015, we've launched the first ever Herts Big Weekend campaign, 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.

"The continued support of the public and private sector has been vital to our early successes, and we look forward to an even more prosperous 2017 for the whole industry."

Using the industry-respected Cambridge Economic Impact Model, the research measured the volume and value of tourism in the county in 2015, and the impact of visits and visitors expenditure on the local economy.

This is the first time that the volume, value and employment of all ten Hertfordshire districts have been included in the countywide research, and the results form a new baseline against which the growth of the county's visitor economy will be measured for the future.

Out of the county's 25million visitors, 43% of people visit for a holiday and 33% are visiting friends and relatives, while 21% visit for business.

Dacorum saw the highest volume of domestic overnight and longer domestic breaks in Hertfordshire. The district saw 903,000 domestic nights and 205,000 domestic trips throughout the year, and also subsequently had the highest domestic spend in 2015 (£43 million). East Herts had the highest number of day trips in the county (3.6 million) and £139 million was spent in the area as a result of day visits, again the highest across the county.

Other districts who saw impressive numbers of day visits included Dacorum and Three Rivers, both welcoming 2.8 million people in 2015.

David Williams, Hertfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Education and Skills, said: "I am delighted to see that Hertfordshire's tourist economy is thriving. We already know that Hertfordshire is an attractive place to live and work and it's pleasing to see that the county is an appealing destination with visitors bringing more than two billion pounds into our economy and supporting over 37,000 jobs. The findings of this research speak volumes about the quality of our local tourism industry.

"By continuing to attract visitors to the county, we will continue to enhance quality of life for residents and our attractiveness as a location for businesses."

Visit Herts began operating as the first official destination management organisation for the county of Hertfordshire in autumn 2015. Since then, its mission has been to strengthen Hertfordshire's tourism offer as an exciting, varied and invigorating place to visit not just for incoming visitors but also for residents who want to explore all that there is to offer on their doorstep. These promising new figures reaffirm the strong tourism story that Hertfordshire has to share with both domestic and overseas visitors.

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Board Member, and Senior Vice- President and Managing Director or Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, Dan Dark said: "Tourism brings considerable revenue to the Hertfordshire economy, as these figures attest. Here in Hertfordshire we have a wealth of attractions that build on our cultural and historical heritage and thriving key sectors. Our proximity to London means that we are particularly well placed to serve visitors on business or day trips.

"We are confident that Visit Herts will continue to deliver significant future growth in our thriving visitor economy."

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