Tourism in Nottinghamshire Shows Continued Growth in Face of Economic Challenges
New data shows that tourism in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire enjoyed a record spend in 2022 as the value of the local visitor economy smashed through the £2 billion mark, demonstrating remarkable growth and resilience following the pandemic, despite a tough economic backdrop.
The report, formulated by Global Tourism Solutions using its STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) model, was commissioned as a joint project by Visit Nottinghamshire, Nottinghamshire County, Nottingham City, Mansfield, and Newark and Sherwood councils.
Adjusted for inflation, the economic impact of the visitor economy is significant, contributing £2.051 billion to the region and supporting over 20,500 jobs. The value of the visitor economy grew by 15.6% compared to 2021, indicating a strong recovery from the COVID-19 period, and was up by £72m (3.6%) compared to 2019. Visitor numbers have also continued strong growth from the year 2021, growing from around 28.87m to 32.97m (14.2%).
Annette Thornley, Business Development Manager at Visit Nottinghamshire, commented:
"The positive trends revealed by the STEAM Data are a testament to the industry's resilience and adaptability in the face of challenging economic conditions.
“We have a fantastic tourism offering in the city and county and we look forward to continuing to welcome visitors new and old to the region.”
Laura Simpson, Visitor Economy Manager for Nottinghamshire County Council, said:
“A new era is dawning for the visitor economy across the city and the county. We have begun a journey of working together to collect and analyse the data we need in order to inform our current and future planning.
“Our Nottinghamshire spirit has shown we can recover from the most challenging of circumstances. It is fundamental that we continue to build a Visitor Economy that is resilient, sustainable and agile enough to be able to respond to any future opportunities and challenges that may arise from changing market demands.”
Councillor Paul Peacock, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, added:
“Nottinghamshire has so much to offer and this data proves just that. Here in Newark and Sherwood we have a wealth of history and culture as well as a wide ranging shopping for visitors to choose from. Whether you’re visiting the legendary Major Oak in Sherwood Forest, getting a bite to eat in one of the amazing independent eateries in Southwell or stepping back in history by visiting Newark Castle and the National Civil War Centre, the district has something for everyone.
“We’ve played an important part in supporting our visitor economy across the district, such as supporting businesses to apply for funding, providing valuable business training for traders and organising an exciting family focused marketing campaign called ‘Happy Families’ to encourage shoppers to visit our independent stores across the district.
“Work to unlock the full potential of Newark Castle and our Newark Cultural Heart programme, part of the Towns Fund Deal, will look at boosting the town centre offering of Newark even further. We’re also looking to secure more funding for areas in Sherwood to improve the visitor offer there too.”
Executive Mayor of Mansfield Andy Abrahams said:
“These figures are encouraging and support our aim to encourage more people to visit this district and grow our local economy as part of our Destination Mansfield agenda.
“This year has been the best yet for events in the district including our first Caribbean carnival, the first Mansfield Film Festival, along with the increasingly popular learning disability Onefest, Armed Forces Day, Party in the Market and Summer Festival. Our £3m investment to transform Berry Hill Park into a Destination Park will continue to put Mansfield on the map.”
Cllr Steve Battlemuch, Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth, Economic Development & Property at Nottingham City Council, said:
“It’s very promising to see this strong data and continued growth for the tourism sector in the STEAM report. Nottingham city plays a pivotal role in the region’s tourism and visitor economy offer, with thousands of hotel rooms, attractions such as Nottingham Castle and Wollaton Hall, a thriving entertainment hub and fantastic retail. The city also has an award-winning public transport system, offering a gateway to the wider region. As a co-funder of Visit Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City Council looks forward to a continued collaboration with partners, which reaps benefits for the regional visitor economy.”
The partnership underlines the benefit of coherent destination management with stakeholders working together towards a united vision. The collaboration is important for securing longer-term benefits for the visitor economy, supporting jobs for local people, vibrant places, and underpinning a deeper cultural, sporting and culinary offer for the region.