Millions flock to Lancashire tourist hotspots

Tourism boost: Clitheroe Food Festival, which is back this weekend, has become a major pull for visitors

Tourism boost: Clitheroe Food Festival, which is back this weekend, has become a major pull for visitors

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Lancashire now sees 20m more tourists than Cumbria each and every year.

Lancashire is on the up as a tourist attraction, new figures have revealed.

The number of people visiting the county grew by one million visitors to 63.16m last year. Cash spent by visitors also rose by 4.4 per cent to £3.5bn and the industry now supports 56,137 full time jobs, a rise of 2.4 per cent on the previous year.

In Preston, visitors boosted the economy by more than £282m, with events including the Harris Flights in the city centre and Crafty Vintage at Brockholes drawing in the crowds.

Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “This growth is a strong result for 2013 
especially as the year before was quite an extraordinary one with Lancashire hosting three major events, The 
Preston Guild, The Open Golf 
Championship and the 400th Anniversary of the Lancashire Witch 
Trials.

“The PR and marketing activity around these successful and diverse events has undoubtedly raised awareness of Lancashire’s broad cultural appeal and helped bring in an additional one million visitors. The visitor economy is a priority sector for Lancashire and these latest figures show that we are growing steadily.

“Lancashire already has 20 million more visitors than Cumbria and is the second highest visitor economy in the North West. With a strategic push to raise the profile of the county, and increased pride in on our key heritage, cultural and unique ‘Lancastrian’ assets, we can make Lancashire the North West destination of choice for short breaks as well as day visits.

“All areas across Lancashire have grown thanks to the quality and choice of the leisure and hospitality businesses in the county, giving people strong reasons to spend time here. Confidence in our product will keep Lancashire on this upward trajectory of prosperity and bring even greater success and sustainability to our visitor economy businesses.”

Marketing Lancashire bosses say 2014 looks set to be another good year with up-coming events such as Clitheroe Food Festival this weekend, Vintage By The Sea (September 5-7) and Blackpool Illuminations (from August 29 onwards) going from strength to strength.