Tourism in Calderdale generated more than £271 million for the local economy in 2013, an increase of £23 million from 2010, according to a new report published by Calderdale Council.
The industry also supports more than 5,000 jobs in the area across sectors including hospitality, catering and retail, it estimated.
Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for communities, Coun Steve Sweeney said: “Over the past few years Calderdale has not been far from the limelight. We’ve been on the route of the Tour de France and this year’s Tour de Yorkshire, we celebrated the Yorkshire Festival and in the wider arts our stunning landscapes have been the back drop to award winning dramas such as Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley.
“So we’re delighted although not surprised that visitor numbers are steadily growing.
“Further economic research since the report was compiled have revealed that 2014 saw a further two per cent increase to the value of tourism in Calderdale, bringing in £276 million to our local economy. Our aim is to build on this success by providing the right conditions so our tourism sector can continue to grow and flourish.”
The findings are included within the council’s new Visitor Economy Strategy 2015-2018, which will be discussed by the council cabinet on Monday, August 10 at Halifax Town Hall.
Research undertaken for the report by local Visitor Information Centre revealed 89 per cent of visitors to the area are from the UK and 11 per cent are from overseas.
Three quarters of visitors enjoyed a meal at Calderdale’s restaurants and cafes, whilst 56 per cent spent their time more leisurely, shopping in its market towns and 65 per cent went walking in the countryside.
Around 11 per cent of visitors came to the area to cycle.
The council’s three year strategy to further increase visitor numbers to Calderdale outlines four priorities:
- making sure there is a good range of attractions, events and accommodation of offer to meet visitors’ needs. It says the re-opening of the newly refurbished Piece Hall in 2016 will create a “world-class” tourist destination.
- supporting local businesses to make the most of social media marketing and resources such as TripAdvisor and www.visitcalderdale.com. Businesses will be offered training to help them enter Welcome to Yorkshire’s White Rose Awards, which this year resulted in six nominations for Calderdale
- producing high profile marketing campaigns to promote Calderdale as a visitor destination
- focusing on cultural development through the Cultural Destinations project developing and promoting events at theatres, museums and heritage sites
Members will be asked to approve the strategy at the meeting at 6pm next Monday.