This year the UK is enjoying a record 40 million overseas visitors, and Staffordshire’s tourism sector is also set to benefit from the boost.
Overseas trips to the UK will increase 6% to 39.7 million with spending up 14% to £25.7bn this year, tourist promotion agency VisitBritain forecasts. The sector is already worth over £1 billion annually in Staffordshire, with around 25 million people enjoying day or overnight trips proving that the county remains a popular destination,
Local attractions , including Trentham Gardens & the Stone Food & Drink Festival, along with the county’s other attractions all contribute towards the booming tourism economy. Staffordshire boasts Alton Towers Resort and Drayton Manor Park, as well as Tamworth’s SnowDome and Waterworld, along with National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, the national football centre at St George’s Park and the National Brewery Centre both in Burton upon Trent, as well as a wealth of smaller museums and attractions.
Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at Staffordshire County Council and Deputy Chair of Destination Staffordshire said: “The record numbers of overseas visitors to the UK we’re seeing this year is not only great news for the country but also wonderful for our own tourism economy. We’re a great county to visit with a thriving tourism sector and lots on offer. Our local tourism businesses continue to do a great job, innovating, attracting more and more visitors, bringing in over £100m a month for the local economy and sustaining tens of thousands of jobs.”
Staffordshire also has many historic houses and sites to visit like Lichfield Cathedral, the Shugborough Estate, Tamworth Castle, the Ancient High House and Weston Park. And, the county is also a great place for the outdoors, from the Peak District National Park in the north to Chasewater and Cannock Chase AONB in the south and the National Forest in the east, not to mention hundreds of miles of footpaths, cycleways and a canal network amongst the largest of shire counties.
Locally, the Trentham Estate is now the UK’s 4th largest paid-for garden attraction and the award-winning adjacent Monkey Forest is the only place in Britain where visitors can walk through the enclosure where the monkeys roam freely. World of Wedgwood in Barliston opened its doors in 2015 with a new visitor centre and Museum giving people even more reasons to visit Staffordshire.
People can find out more about what Staffordshire has to offer this autumn at www.enjoystaffordshire.com/whats-on.co.uk.