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Tourism in Norwich now worth more than £750m, report reveals

The River Wensum from Whitefriars bridge in Norwich. Tourism in the city increased in value in 2017, a new report shows. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The River Wensum from Whitefriars bridge in Norwich. Tourism in the city increased in value in 2017, a new report shows. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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The value of tourism in Norwich has edged over the £750m milestone, according to new figures.

In 2017 tourism in the city was worth almost £751.7m to the local economy, an increase of 2.8% on the previous year, according to the latest Economic Impact of Tourism report.

This was composed of £573.7m of visitor spending and a further £177,97 of indirect spend.

The total number of trips taken during 2017 was just under 12.28 million – comprising 11.83 million day trips and 444,200 staying trips, both up 5.5% on 2016.

The number of nights stayed also increased by 4.8% to 1.476 million – ahead of the national increase of 4%.

Norwich Castle. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodNorwich Castle. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

The report found increases in visitor spend, too. The total spend during day trips rose 2.5% to almost £475.43m while the total value of overnight trips increased by 3.7% to £104.74m.

However, it also found a drop in the average spend per visit – the spend for an overnight stay fell by 1.1% to £70.96 while the average day trip spend dropped by 2.9% to £40.26.

The report – compiled by Destination Research – said that tourism supported 13,178 jobs in Norwich in 2017 – a quarter (24.9%) of all employment.

Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich Business Improvement District (BID), which oversees tourism body Visit Norwich, said: “This is a strong set of results for Norwich, with great figures for both day visits and stay trips.

Erpingham House, the site of a new vegan restaurant in Tombland. The second largest proportion of visitor spend was on food and drink. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYErpingham House, the site of a new vegan restaurant in Tombland. The second largest proportion of visitor spend was on food and drink. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“Tourism is an integral part of the Norwich city experience with the city constantly delivering new reasons to travel here. We’re keen to build on this success and we have exciting plans in development to keep raising awareness of Norwich as a leading UK city to visit in 2019.

“We should be very proud of the contribution that tourism continues to make to the local economy, supporting over 13,000 jobs in the area.”

Of the people visiting Norwich, two-thirds (65%) were staying in paid accommodation while the remainder were with friends, relatives or at second homes.

A breakdown of visitor expenditure showed that 39% of money spent went on shopping, 35% on food and drink, 10% on entertainment and 11% on travel. Just 5% was spent on accommodation.

Photo essay. Norwich statues. The statue of the Duke of Wellington at Upper Close, Norwich Cathedral. Picture : ANTONY KELLYPhoto essay. Norwich statues. The statue of the Duke of Wellington at Upper Close, Norwich Cathedral. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Spending was more prone to seasonal peaks and troughs than visits, the report found.

Some 6% of overnight visitors and day visitors made their trips in February – but the month accounted for just 3% of total spend.

Meanwhile in August, which accounted for 10% of overnight visitors, 15% of the total overnight visitor spend was made.

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