Cheshire East ‘on track’ for £1 billion tourism target


Cheshire East Council says tourists are continuing to flock to the borough, as visitor rates are soon expected to top £1bn a year – according to the latest economy figures.

In 2016/17, Cheshire East’s visitor economy increased by 3.2 per cent on the previous year’s figures, placing the total value of hospitality and visitor revenue at £921m.

It means the borough is on target to reach £1 billion by 2020.

Almost 16 million visitors passed through the borough in 2016/17, with festivals and dozens of other events and attractions boosting the area’s popularity.

Notable was the strong increase in staying visitors, the value of which increased by 6.3 per cent to £241m.

Employment in the borough’s visitor economy also continues to rise, with a further increase (in full time equivalents) to more than 11,500.

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

As part of its visitor economy strategy, Cheshire East Council’s long-standing aspiration is to help create a visitor economy worth £1bn by 2020.

Council leader Rachel Bailey said: “This is excellent news again for Cheshire East, the council and our outstanding hospitality and tourism industry.

“We are fortunate to be ideally positioned for a great day visit as well as for visitors from all over the country, and abroad, staying with us.”

Cllr Bailey added: “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 – or concerts, including Rewind and Blue Dot festivals.

“Other visitors came to see our great historic places of interest, our breath-taking 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.”

In addition, horticultural shows, heritage and antiques markets, classic car shows and farmers’ markets have all proved popular.

Analysis of the latest figures shows the value of the visitor economy to Cheshire East has increased by 69.3 per cent since the borough came into being in 2009.

The Cheshire East Visitor Economic Strategy 2016-2020 can be viewed or downloaded here.