East Cambridgeshire enjoys another tourism boom - with visitor numbers rising to nearly four million
PUBLISHED: 12:47 05 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:53 06 October 2017
Tourism in East Cambridgeshire is booming – with visitor numbers rising to nearly four million in the last three years.
Latest figures show that the number of overnight stays in the region have increased by 10 per cent, with the total value of tourism for the district up by the same amount to over £200 million - up from £182 million in 2013.
The total number of day visitors has also shot up by 20 per cent compared to 2014, when the last Volume and Value report was commissioned.
In 2013, there were 3.4 million trips to the district – up from 2.6 million in 2010 – meaning that the number of visitors could be set to double in less than a decade.
Tracey Harding, tourism and town centres manager, said: “We are delighted with these figures that demonstrate what a great place to visit Ely and the surrounding area is.
“With an ever increasing variety and range of attractions, restaurants, events and accommodation, it is no surprise that our figures are up.
“The recent rebranding of our visitor guide that is distributed nationally across the tourist information centre network and our new Visit Ely website and social media platforms have clearly all played a part in spreading the word and making our district so attractive to visitors.”
Tourism is set to receive another big boost in the coming weeks, with the Apple Festival returning for 2017 on October 21.
The festival has been one of the city’s most popular events since its launch in 2000 and this year’s instalment will see competitions, candle making demonstrations, birds of prey and activities - as well as hundreds of apples and an appearance from Ely’s Green Man.
Also on the horizon is the UK’s first Dojima Sake brewery opening in Fordham- which is expected to create 100 jobs - the return of Ely Cathedral’s flower festival and the launch of a new pop-up escape room at Oliver Cromwell’s House.
2018 will also see the City of Ely Council take over the organisation of events in the city from the district council’s tourism and town centres team.
Its aim is to “carry out initiatives and projects to re-vitalise our three town centres and make them a pleasant place to live, work and visit,” according to its delivery plan.