Record Tourism Results For York NEW Economic Impact Figures Revealed

Published on : Friday, February 14, 2014

visityorkA new piece of research, combining results from the tourism industry’s ‘Cambridge model’ and the ‘UK Events Market Trends Survey’, which both provide estimates of the economic impact of tourism for destinations, has calculated afresh the total number of leisure and business visitors to York and their estimated spend whilst in the city.

This new research model now shows that visitor spend is a third higher than the figure of £443 million estimated in 2008, by the ‘Economic Impact Model for Tourism in Yorkshire’ and now reveals a record breaking £606 million spend by visitors in 2012.

Commissioned by Visit York, the research for 2012, sheds new light on the value of tourism to the city.


Kate McMullen, Head of Visit York said, ‘These statistics are fantastic news and mean we have exceeded our targets. It’s our strong partnership approach, working closely with York’s tourism businesses and their innovation that continually enables York to stay ahead of the competition.’

Other headline results from the research showed:

• Visitor numbers remained at seven million

• The proportion of overnight visitors is now 22% of all visits, compared to 17% reported in 2008; 1.5million, up from 1.2million

• The tourism industry in York supports an estimated 20,200 jobs, which accounts for 20%, or 1 in 5 jobs in the city.

• A recent report by the Office for National Statistics showed that York falls into the top ten destinations for the percentage of its workforce employed in tourism, demonstrating how important tourism is to the local economy.

(All other destinations in this top ten are either rural or coastal, making York unique as a city destination. The top three destinations for tourism employment are Torquay, the West coast of Scotland and Cornwall.)

Tourism chiefs are hailing the results as fantastic news for the city. Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said: ‘These results demonstrate the importance of tourism and the visitor economy. Whether here for a holiday or business trip, by spending in our hotels, shops and restaurants it’s clear that visitors contribute significantly to the city. Our aim has always been to concentrate on increasing the value of tourism in York, so we’re delighted with these latest results and we will continue to build on this success.’

A summary of key findings from the research included:

• Annual visitor spending up by £163 million from £443 million to £606 million

• Visitor numbers remained constant 7 million – an estimated 6 million leisure visits and 1 million business visits

• Overnight visitors account for the lion’s share of the value of tourism, contributing £399m compared to £207m from day visitors (66% vs 34%)

• Conference and event visitors continue to contribute significantly above average spend to the visitor economy, accounting for 25% of the total visitor spend despite representing only 15% of the number of visitors to York per year. Total conference and event spend equalled £151.6m and total leisure visitor spend equalled £454.8m

• Overnight leisure visitors stay an average of 3.3 days in York and the average length of stay of an overnight business visitor is 2.3 days

• Food and drink is number one area of spend, followed closely by shopping; leisure visitors spent £125m and £116m respectively, up from £92m and £54m reported in 2008.


The top five ranked overseas countries visiting York are the USA, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and France. Although there has been some fluctuation in the order of the countries listed, these five have remained consistently high in the rankings. Canada is the only other country to be in the top five more than once in the last five years but has slipped down the rankings more recently. The United States has consistently been the number one overseas market for York for the last ten years, although the gap is narrowing between the US and second placed Australia as the Australian market grows at some pace.

Economic impact results for 2013 will be published later in the Autumn, however, early indications from Visit York’s hotel occupancy and attractions surveys are positive, with both surveys anticipated to show a record year.

Jane Lady Gibson, Chairman of Visit York said, ‘These excellent results show we are on the right track and we now have ambitious plans, with partners in the city, to create a billion pound visitor economy for York by 2024. To successfully deliver on this we will raise our game still further, creating a sharper, more innovative approach to take tourism in York to the next level.’

There were 2.1mn visitors to York in 1987, spending £55 million. Today’s new figures reveal that seven million visitors are spending a record breaking £606 million annually.


Source:- Visit York

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