Questions raised about whether the Vale is doing enough to promote itself around the world - The Evesham Observer

Questions raised about whether the Vale is doing enough to promote itself around the world

Evesham Editorial 7th Oct, 2017   0

AN EXAMINATION of Wychavon’s tourism industry has found only a ‘tiny proportion’ of visitors to the district are from overseas and calls have been made to boost foreign visitor numbers post-Brexit.

As a result of the drop in the value of the pound following last year’s EU referendum, Britain has seen record numbers of overseas visitors to the country and Mid Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston has urged Wychavon to cash in on the so-called ‘Brexit boost.’

He was speaking at an event last Friday at Wychavon’s Pershore headquarters which examined the state of tourism in the district.

In July alone there were four million visits to Britain by non-UK residents – up six per cent on the year before. However, London appears to benefit the most as about half of them never get outside of the M25.




Despite this, Wychavon still manages to attract tourists to the district. On average the district is already visited by 3.5million people every year, supporting more than 3,100 jobs and contributing almost £175million to the local economy.

But, data revealed at Wychavon’s tourism examination found 73 per cent of visitors to the area come from within the West Midlands, with only a ‘tiny proportion’ from overseas.


Speaking at the meeting, Mr Huddleston said the district needs to do more and take ‘full advantage’ of its tourism offering.

“For the fifth or sixth year running we are likely to have record numbers of inbound tourists and Wychavon needs to make sure it’s getting its fair share,” he said.

“London is an anchor and people around the world come to the UK partly because of what London has to offer, but what we need to do is increase the average length of stay of overseas visitors so they can be encouraged to experience other parts of the UK.

“We have major international tourist destinations, like Stratford and Oxford, just a hop, skip and a jump from Wychavon yet we’re not feeling the impact of that.

“Wychavon has the most tremendous tourism offering but we’re not taking full advantage.”

Coun Richard Morris, portfolio holder for Economy and Housing on Wychavon District Council, added: “There’s some excellent work already happening across Wychavon including the recent launch of Droitwich Salt and our award-winning Asparagus and Pershore Plum festivals to name just a few.

“The challenge now is how do we sustain and continue that success. The event gave us much food for thought and this is the start of the process of us working with partners and our community to generate ideas to tap into new markets and the boom in tourism Britain is experiencing.”

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