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Tourism industry records “impressive” growth

by Marco Cillario Wed 14 December 2016, 3:24 pm

Medway’s visitor economy grew significantly last year, according to figures released at the end of November.

Independent research commissioned by Visit Kent showed that Medway welcomed 4.6 million visitors in 2015, with day trips rising by 3% to 4.1 million and overnight trips growing by 2.2% to more than 500,000.

The total number of jobs supported by tourism rose by 5% to 6,112, and the overall value of the local visitor economy grew to £313 million.

Chief executive of Visit Kent, Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE, said that the industry’s year-on-year growth in Medway was “impressive”.

Councillor Howard Doe, portfolio holder for community services, described the data as “fantastic news”.

“I’m pleased so many people are visiting the area and discovering what we have to offer, from historic castles, to great shopping centres, vast green spaces, a wide range of events, wonderful theatres and much more."

He stressed the importance of 2017 for tourism, as the year will mark the 350th anniversary of the battle of Medway, which will be celebrated with a two-week programme of events in June.

Overall, Kent’s visitor economy’s value grew by 5% between 2013 and 2015, with tourism-related jobs rising by 5.9% in 2015 to 71,920. The highest ever number of visitors was recorded last year at 60.6 million, and the county was the third most visited destination by foreign tourists outside London.

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