New South Warwickshire tourism figures show recovery

Shakespeare's England Helen Peters
Shakespeare's England Helen Peters

South Warwickshire’s tourism industry is on the road to post-pandemic recovery, according to new figures.

In 2021, the region attracted 7.8 million visitors – a 39% increase on the previous year, while tourism employment numbers in the region increased by 4% year-on-year to more than 10,000 people.

The value of tourism to the region – which covers the amount that visitors spend on accommodation, retail, and food and drink – stood at £516 million; an increase of 53% in 2021 compared to 2020.

These latest statistics are from an Economic Impact Assessment report generated by market research company, The Research Solution, which takes into account audited data from the Office for National Statistics and the International Passenger Survey.

The figures were released in September 2022 and cover key tourist destinations such as Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Leamington and Kenilworth.

The district of Warwick also saw a 48% increase in visitor numbers during 2021 compared to the previous year, while Stratford-upon-Avon’s town centre saw a 40% rise in visitors during the same period.

Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England, which is the official tourism body for south Warwickshire said, “These statistics underline the resilience of our region’s tourism businesses as we start to see the green shoots of recovery in what has been – and continues to be – a volatile trading environment for attractions, hoteliers, retailers and restaurants.

“The rise in visitor numbers and spend in 2021 is made even more encouraging considering it covers a period when for the first three months of the year, tourism businesses’ ability to trade was hampered by the country’s third lockdown.

“I expect the recovery to pre-pandemic levels to be a slower one over a longer period of time not only whilst society continues rebuilding its confidence living in a post-lockdown world, but also due to other pressures.

“This includes the rising cost of living which many tourism businesses are battling with at present as they try to strike the balance between remaining affordable for their customers while remaining profitable, as well as a severe shortage of available staff which in the worst cases is preventing some businesses being able to open and provide a full service throughout the week.”

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