We are one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations. The quality and diversity of the natural environment – combined with high quality accommodation, attractions, activities and restaurants – mean our county remains firmly on the tourist map.
Tourism and related services make a significant contribution to our economy. The county attracts nearly six million staying visitors a year, spending over £2.1 billion in the local economy. We have twice as many tourism businesses as the national average. These are typically small (less than 10 employees) but added together provide almost 12% of the county’s employment (46,000 full time employees).
Employment in the hotel and catering service sector grew by 18% between 2000 and 2010, and is expected to grow a further 18% between now and 2020. Some of the sector’s notable employers include the Brend Hotels Group, Haven, John Fowler Holidays, Parkdean Holiday Parks and the National Trust.
Training and skills development in the tourism and hospitality sector is supported by a wide range of courses, from higher and further education to vocational business development opportunities. The sector also benefits from a well-established network of tourism and hospitality support organisations, joining together to offer marketing, training and business events.
Find out more about tourism in our county here.