, released this week, finds that visitor satisfaction in St Albans district is high and there is substantial potential for growth of the local visitor economy.
The research indicates that in 2010, £107 million was spent by visitors to the district, supporting an estimated 2,580 jobs. Visitor numbers and spend remained stable despite a nationwide 3% real terms decline in the tourism economy between 2007 and 2009.
Visitor surveys conducted in the district in August 2012 looked at who visits the district, why they visit and what they do when they get here. It found that 40% of visitors were on leisure trips, 38% were visiting friends and relatives and 18% were on business. The other 4% of visitors were on study trips or visiting for other reasons.
The Council’s research into comparable destinations has generated a range of recommendations for improving the competitiveness of the district. It also identifies best practice in the management and development of the visitor economy. The research findings are to be considered further by businesses across the district.
The Visitor Evidence Base Report brings together three strands of research initiated in 2012. The Council commissioned survey research from Tourism South East into actual visitors to the district in August 2012. It also procured ten years (2001-2010) of volume and value data from Tourism South East. Finally the Council conducted its own benchmarking research with comparable destinations in England. The report uses the research results to make recommendations for the future of the local visitor economy.
The Council recognises that visitor growth needs to be achieved in a sustainable way, balancing the needs of residents, visitors and local business.
Councillor Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Community Engagement and Localism at St Albans City and District Council, said: “The research indicates that there is room for at least 3% real terms growth, per year, in the visitor economy. It tells us that the district is in a great position to make more of our excellent shopping, countryside and visitor attractions.
“The district’s visitor strategy is being developed with the help of businesses across the district. The research findings will help inform the development of the strategy. The findings identify areas to concentrate on during the next five years and will help the Council and local businesses to set targets for sustainable growth.
“The research identifies visitor niche markets and information to support thinking on the development of new visitor attractions. It also highlights ways to improve marketing and management of our visitor economy”
To comment on the report and the development of the district’s visitor strategy please contact Charles Baker, Tourism and Cultural Hub Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
, 01727 819275.
Cllr Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Community Engagement and Localism at St Albans City and District Council, Tel: 07956 220264
Contact for the media:
Claire Wainwright, Principal Communications and Marketing Officer, St Albans City and District Council, Tel: 01727 819572, E-mail: email@example.com