Holidaying in the North of England

By | Category: Travel destinations

Even in this year of the staycation, how many of you planned a holiday in the north of England. I’m not talking about the North Yorkshire Moors, Northumberland of Cumbria but elsewhere in the north?

Scarborough where a significant part of its economy is dependent on visitors

The answer is more than you probably would have guessed.

In the first report of its kind, Transport for the North has, in over 180 pages, analysed the value of tourism to the north and believes that 25% of tourism spending in England is spent in the north. Further, if you remove London from the figures then the organisation thinks that 37% of all spending is in the north.

In all tourism brings £21.05 billion to the north of England, provides direct jobs for 579,000 people and 39,000 businesses which, it is estimated, accounts for 8% of total employment in the area.

But if it is so important where are visitors going? Of the estimated 420 million visits in 2019 (only six million of which were by international visitors so domestic visits are much more important) it is Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle were the main places to go. But in Scarborough, Blackpool, and South Lakeland, over 12% of businesses are part of the visitor economy. In Richmondshire, Derbyshire Dales, Staffordshire Moorlands, Eden and South Lakeland, over 15% of employment is attributed to the visitor economy. For these places, the visitor economy is intrinsically linked to local prosperity and wealth so we visitors are important contributors to the areas economy.

Of the top three areas of the UK whilst Cornwall is first in the share of economic output attributable to tourism, Cumbria and North Yorkshire rank second and third.

But are people visiting because of heritage, night life, gastronomy, culture or because they are shopping?

But Manchester is a big draw as are major cities in the north

Does it matter?

Not in the short term. The longer answer is that it is important to know why people are coming so more of the same can be added and other attractions are conceived to widen the appeal.

The organisation has made a number of recommendations to make it easier and more attractive for us to visit the area including making transport easier to use such as more joined up services between bus and train, reduced journey times and better quality active travel facilities on public transport and at visitor economy hotspots.

Now visitors and locals will want to see whether the report is turned into meaningful action.

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