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Visitor Numbers to The National Forest Grow to 7.8m

Wednesday, 14th October 2015

Child with magnifying glass in The National Forest

Official tourism figures commissioned by the National Forest Company reveal that more people are coming to visit The National Forest - and that they are spending significantly more while they are here.

The National Forest attracted a record 7.8 million visitors in 2014, up 8.9% from 2013.

The STEAM report, produced annually to assess the economic impact of visitors to destinations across the UK, also highlights that the amount of money spent by visitors to The National Forest last year hit £373.8m, an increase of 8% compared with 2013. This increased spend helped to create an additional 281 jobs for the Forest – up 6.2% to 4,842 jobs.

The report details figures on day visitors and those who stay overnight. Overnight visitors choose to stay in serviced accommodation, such as hotels, guest houses and B&B’s, or non-serviced accommodation such as self-catering cottages or camping and caravanning. Those staying in non-serviced accommodation spend significantly more time in The National Forest, an average of 6.6 nights.

Since 2003, when The National Forest figures were first collated, the number of people visiting the Forest has gone up by 16% (1.1 million), with the value of the visitor economy increasing by 63% (£144.8m).

“This positive picture of the Forest’s growing visitor economy is testament to the strong National Forest & Beyond partnership with our local authorities and the tourism businesses, all working together to promote the destination,” said John Everitt, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company. He continued: “The trend data suggests that whilst we are predominantly a day visitor destination, growth in overnight stays has increased exponentially. More of our visitors are staying overnight and spending more.”

The research demonstrates that the investment in The National Forest continues to support and grow the local economy.