Economic Impact of Tourism – Visitor Volume and Value 2016

Cumbria Tourism, along with a number of partners including most of the district councils, and the Lake District National Park Authority, commission Global Tourism Solutions Ltd to estimate the economic impact of tourism in Cumbria. This is achieved through use of a model called STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor). Through STEAM the county has a continuous tourism economic impact dataset from 2000 to 2016. STEAM uses locally-derived data from a variety of sources including tourist information centres, visitor attractions and events, accommodation bedstocks and occupancy rates. Data is analysed to produce estimates of the number of visitors, visitor days, employment supported by tourism, and revenue generated.

In 2016 Cumbria and the Lake District received just over 45 million visitors, made up of 38.8 million day trippers and 6.3 million overnight visitors. Between them, day and staying visitors combined to produce 59.4m tourist days. These visitors brought in £2.72 billion to the region’s economy and provided employment for 36,240 full time equivalent (FTE) posts. As many tourism jobs are actually part time, or seasonal, the total number of people in tourism jobs is estimated at 62,316, around 20% of the county’s total employment.

Between 2015 and 2016, there was an increase of 4% in tourist days, 5.2% in tourist numbers, and 4.1% in tourism revenue. This builds on increases in both 2013 and 2014.

Much of this increase was due to day, rather than staying visitors. Day visitors increased by 6%, equivalent to an extra 2.2 million visits, and their spend increased by 7.4%, bringing in an extra £100m, to a total of £1.46bn. The number of staying visitor nights increased by 0.5%, and spend grew by 0.4%.

Looking at sectors of expenditure, significant increases were seen in most areas. Revenue from recreational activities grew the most, by 6.1%, followed by shopping (5.8%), and food and drink (5.4%). Accommodation revenues were similar to 2015 levels.

A more detailed report is available with information by area, visitor type, sector, and seasonality CLICK HERE.

Impact of tourism 2016 by district
Research distribution of visitor numbers by district

For further information

Contact Helen Tate on
01539 822222 or