Witney News - Tourism spending growth despite flooding

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Tourism spending growth despite flooding

Latest figures show tourism-related spending in West Oxfordshire rose to over £224 million in 2007, despite extreme summer flooding in the District.

A study by Tourism South East shows that tourism-related expenditure – for example, accommodation costs, food and drink, and entry fees to venues and attractions – rose from £221.4 million in 2006 to £224.6 million in 2007. There were almost 3.7 million visitors to the District in 2007, including day trippers and people who stayed overnight or longer.

Tourism plays an important role in West Oxfordshire’s economy and the District Council supports the sector through investment in tourism services and development, and operating Visitor Information Centres in Burford, Witney and Woodstock.

The Council also works to promote the District and runs a website, www.oxfordshirecotswolds.org, containing information about events and attractions and an online accommodation booking service, as well as producing a visitor guide, attractions guide and other specialised publications.

Cllr Hilary Biles, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Tourism and Health, said: “Although the rise in tourism-related spending in 2007 represented only a 1% growth, the District experienced severe flooding in July that year and this impacted significantly on the tourism sector during what is traditionally its busiest time of year. The Council increased marketing activity significantly to help the sector through this difficult time and we are pleased that the official figures show this increase.

“In the current economic climate the tourism industry, like all sectors, is facing further difficulties and the Council will support businesses and organisations through these pressing times.”

The Council is participating in Tourism South East’s ‘Winning in Recession’ campaign – running across the South East to promote and support the tourism industry – and hopes this will help to raise the profile of West Oxfordshire.

Local tourism businesses wanting further information or advice can contact the Council’s Tourism team on 01993 861563.

Posted : 11/02/2009 11:38:17

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