The importance of tourism to Canterbury’s economy has been further demonstrated in figures for 2015 released today (Monday 28 November).
Independent research commissioned by Visit Kent reveal the overall value of tourism to the city was more than £450 million in 2015, an increase of 1.6 per cent on the previous year.
The figures also show there were 7.2 million visitors to Canterbury last year, with half a million of these being overnight trips. This is the highest number of visits to one destination in Kent. And the city is also proving popular with overseas visitors, as these trips are up by six per cent.
Overall, the research shows that the total number of jobs in Canterbury supported by the visitor economy rose to 9,378, an increase of six per cent on last year.
Chairman of Canterbury City Council’s Regeneration and Property Committee, Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, said: “These figures make for incredible reading and show just how vital tourism is to Canterbury. But the fact the city is so popular should not come as a surprise – we have fantastic attractions, beautiful parks and gardens and a great range of shops, especially in the independent sector.
“Whether you’re coming for a day trip or staying for a while, or visiting from abroad or within the United Kingdom, Canterbury’s got everything you need.
“Everybody involved in the tourism industry in the city should feel very proud that their efforts have contributed to the stellar economic figures we’re seeing today.”
The countywide figures are also spectacular. Last year, Kent welcomed more than 60.6 million visitors and the tourism industry’s value rose five per cent from 2013. Kent remains the third most visited destination outside of London for foreign visitors, and tourism jobs rose by almost six per cent to 71,920.
Chief Executive of Visit Kent, Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE, said: “Kent’s reputation as a great short break destination continues to thrive, and we are proud to remain one of the UK’s most popular destinations. It is wonderful to see districts like Canterbury experience such impressive growth year on year.”