Canterbury’s tourism economy flourishes

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The value of Canterbury district’s visitor economy grew by 8.1 per cent in 2017 and is now worth £491 million, according to research released today (Wednesday 9 January).

Independent research commissioned by Visit Kent showed that the district’s visitor economy continues to thrive, with 7.8 million visitors welcomed in 2017 (up 7.5 per cent on 2015) and the highest number of visits to one destination in Kent.

The value of day trips to Canterbury leapt up 10.6 per cent, while the value of overnight stays across the district also saw a good rise of 1.9 per cent. And the total number of jobs supported by tourism grew by 7.9 per cent, with the industry accounting for 16 per cent of total employment in the Canterbury district.

Canterbury’s strong performance reflects the countywide picture, where despite 2017’s wet summer, Kent welcomed 65 million visitors.

Chairman of Canterbury City Council’s Regeneration and Property Committee, Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, said: “These are fantastic figures and show the continuing appeal of our wonderful city, towns and villages. And no wonder – we have great attractions, eateries, beaches, independent shops and countryside for people to explore.

“The value of the visitor economy, at almost half a billion pounds, and the level of employment it supports, is quite astonishing and shows the importance of tourism to the district.

“We’d like to say thank you to all those people who work so hard to ensure visitors to the area get a great experience and spend their money right here.”

Chief Executive of Visit Kent, Deirdre Wells OBE, said: “Tourism is the UK’s fastest growing service sector and these figures demonstrate the contribution which our vital industry makes to the economy of Kent. With our stunning countryside, world-class heritage, and delicious locally sourced food and drink, it is no surprise that visitor numbers are increasing in districts like Canterbury year on year.

“The collective efforts of tourism businesses across the county have paid dividends and this partnership will be critical in ensuring that this growth continues during a challenging year ahead.”

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