Record figures show tourism is booming in Calderdale

The 2018 Tour de Yorkshire in Halifax. Picture: Calderdale Council.
The 2018 Tour de Yorkshire in Halifax. Picture: Calderdale Council.

Visitor numbers and spending in Calderdale are at record levels according to research on the borough’s visitor economy.

Based on 2017 data, which the Council commissions every year, figures have seen a dramatic increase from the previous year, with the cumulative cash value of tourism in Calderdale reaching £344.1 million – an increase of five per cent from 2016.

Coun Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, said: “Once again, our annual tourism report shows that Calderdale is a thriving destination for visitors, with tourism making a significant contribution to our economy. It’s thanks to a combination of our distinctiveness as a place, ambitious thinking, local creativity and a real partnership approach across the public, private and voluntary sectors.”

A total of 6.7 million trips were taken to Calderdale. Of these, the majority were day trips but a staggering 0.3 million were overnight stays.

Direct visitor spend on trips to Calderdale has reached more than £266 million. Of this, 74 per cent of spend has been by day visitors and 26 per cent from overseas and UK holidaymakers.

This is expected to increase further, with Halifax being named as a start or finish location for the Tour de Yorkshire 2019; the continued success of The Piece Hall as a world-class heritage destination rivalling many European piazzas; and the eagerly awaited period drama Gentleman Jack. The HBO BBC drama will showcase Shibden Hall and Estate to international audiences next spring, through the story detailing the life of famous diarist Anne Lister.

Figures show that retail accounts for more than £97 million in visitor spend.

Local accommodation providers are seeing more than £21 million coming into the borough from overnight stays, and more than £25 million per year is spent on the many and varied visitor attractions. A massive £89 million is being spent in Calderdale pubs, bars and restaurants.

In Calderdale, the visitor economy contributes to economic resilience. In 2017, tourism directly benefitted local businesses to the tune of £253 million. Almost 6,900 people (7.2 per cent) work in the tourism sector in Calderdale.