Kent's tourism boost as visitor numbers soar
by business editor Trevor
The economic impact of tourism on the county has soared by 16%
in the past five years.
Latest research for Visit Kent also found the number of day
visitors rose by 8% and job numbers up 9% over the same period.
Tourism is worth £3.4billion to the Kent and Medway economy and
supports more than 64,000 jobs. Some 57 million visitors came to
the county in 2011.
But only four million made an overnight stop - with the
most popular stopovers being Medway, Canterbury, Swale and Thanet.
Dartford, with its nearby Bluewater attraction, also did well.
Sandra Matthews-Marsh, Visit Kent chief executive (pictured
right), said there was no doubt investment in major
world-class attractions – such as Turner Contemporary in Margate,
the Marlowe Theatre and Beaney Museum in Canterbury, the additional
features at The Historic Dockyard Chatham and the opening of
Cyclopark, near Gravesend – had contributed to the ongoing success
of the visitor economy.
"There are many more projects in the pipeline including boutique
hotels, proposals for our coastal resorts, the opening of the
amusement heritage park in Margate, and the exciting plans for
Paramount Park at Ebbsfleet," she said.
But more high-quality accommodation was needed to boost
She added: "Our overnight visitor numbers have only increased by
2% in the past five years, so there is clearly work to be done to
match our success in the day visitor market."