Annual figures published by Lancaster City Council show that a total of £478.630 million was generated within the local economy last year through visitor and tourism spend.
The report shows visitor numbers increased by 2.4% between 2017 and 2018 with a total of 7.731 million tourism visits. This equates to 11% of all tourism visits to Lancashire and second only to Blackpool as the most visited destination in the county.
Coun Jean Parr, Cabinet member for arts, culture, leisure and tourism for Lancaster City Council, said: “These figures establish that the visitor economy is a significant contributor in the overall regeneration and growth of our district.
“Visitors to Lancaster supported over 6,200 full time equivalent jobs in 2018 in areas such as retail, attractions, food and drink and accommodation businesses. Lancaster City Council and many businesses across the district are driving growth in this sector with continued investment into developments that support tourism.
“Central to our plans is the continued work with the Eden Project North to secure funding for this new attraction that will develop Morecambe as a seaside resort fit for the 21st century. This new attraction would not only attract over an estimated 760,000 visitors a year but will also convert more day visitors into higher spending staying visitors.
“We can all play our part in growing the reputation of this amazing place by sharing information with our friends and family on forthcoming developments and events happening in our region.”
In Lancaster, the castle is shortly due to complete some major development work with a new café, gallery space, teaching suite and ticket office to open later this month.
Debbie Garritty, Head of Communications at the Duchy of Lancaster and member of the Lancaster Place Board, said: “The Lancaster district is a region which has always celebrated its culture and heritage but also demonstrates great entrepreneurial excellence. We are fast becoming the location of choice for businesses and people wanting to relocate here, while the refurbishment of Lancaster Castle further extends our national and international appeal as a high quality visitor destination.”
Successful events like Vintage by the Sea, Highest Point and Lancaster Music Festival have also contributed to the positive report findings and the forthcoming Lancaster On Ice and Christmas theatre productions will continue to offer visitors a quality experience right through to the end of this year.
For more information on the Lancaster Story and the promotional film visit www.lancaster.uk.com or visit our destination’s websites www.visitlancaster.org.uk / www.exploremorecambebay.org.uk for events and visitor information.