Visit West celebrates value of tourism

Bristol Suspension Bridge
Bristol Suspension Bridge

Recent research carried out by Visit West reveals the value of tourism to the region is currently estimated to be worth £2.13 billion, an impressive post-pandemic recovery – although 91.5% of 2019 figures – with over 41,000 people estimated to be employed within the industry.

79% of staying visitors are from within the UK and 21% international, with day trips making up almost half of the spend in the region. Food & drink and retail account for almost 60% of all visitor spend.

Further research commissioned by Visit West and funded by the West of England Combined Authority looked into why visitors come to the region – some people mentioned their trip was to visit a specific venue or attraction such as The Ivy, Sally Lunn’s, The Roman Baths, Clifton Suspension Bridge, and Brunel’s SS Great Britain. 30% of people were also influenced in some way to visit by seeing the region on screen, with Bridgerton, Dr Who and Skins being the most influential programmes.

Kathryn Davis, Managing Director, Visit West said, “English Tourism Week is a chance to really celebrate what the industry means to the local economy and to understand its importance to the Visit West region. Through our diverse work with tour operators and media, we have ensured the region is included in itineraries, brochures, and travel publications across the world. None of this would be possible without the amazing people who work in the industry either directly or indirectly, our friendly west country welcome, the vast range and quality of attractions, food and drink experiences, cultural activities and events, along with a fantastic shopping offer.”

Visit West was awarded LVEP status (Local Visit Economy Partnership) in 2023 by VisitEngland and strives to showcase the importance of tourism to the region’s economy and communities, championing businesses through their work locally, nationally and internationally to inspire visitors to come to the region, for leisure, business events and developing strong partnerships in the industry.

This includes the management of five websites, including VisitBath, and VisitBristol, a new version of which will be launched in the spring. Additionally, Visit West offers a comprehensive digital programme involving direct mail, social channels and campaigns, as well as extensive work with the travel and influencer media. Meet Bristol and Bath, the region’s convention bureau is involved in business development and marketing of the region as a destination for business events. There is also a comprehensive travel trade programme that includes global trade events and hosting buyers in market and a business support and development programme for local organisations working in and with the visitor economy.

Click here to find out more about Visit West.