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SFR visitors contribute to Leicester economy

Visitors to Leicester shows strong performance in ‘staying with friends and relatives’ market

New research has revealed that the emerging ‘Staying with Friends and Relatives’ (SFR) market has made a significant contribution to the visitor economy in Leicester and Leicestershire. The figures show that in 2006, SFR visitors to Leicester contributed over £112 million to the local economy, amounting to 28 per cent of the total revenue received from visitors to the city (almost £400 million)….

New research has revealed that the emerging ‘Staying with Friends and Relatives’ (SFR) market has made a significant contribution to the visitor economy in Leicester and Leicestershire. The figures show that in 2006, SFR visitors to Leicester contributed over £112 million to the local economy, amounting to 28 per cent of the total revenue received from visitors to the city (almost £400 million).

The research also shows that the number of visitors to Leicestershire grew to over 31.3 million in 2006, with days spent by visitors in the county rising to almost 36.7 million.

The findings are part of a major study into the economic impact of tourism in Leicester, Leicestershire and throughout the East Midlands, commissioned by East Midlands Tourism. The new research provides a comprehensive overview of year-on-year growth for tourism in the destination and the region, as well as examining performance historically and against national trends.

Tom Wright, Chief Executive at VisitBritain said: “Staying with friends and relatives is an increasingly important market for tourism within Britain and these figures highlight the importance of this sector for the Leicester and Leicestershire region. As well as the revenue that this sector provides, friends and family are also able to give recommendations on where to go and what to see and act as ambassadors for the area as a whole.”

Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions, added: “The growth in the SFR market is largely focused in the urban city area. With the new city centre brand for 2008 – encompassing the completed Highcross Leicester shopping centre, CURVE theatre and other major regeneration projects – we expect that the growth in the SFR market will continue to rise, benefiting the visitor economy throughout the city and the wider county.

“Although the number of SFR visitors is significantly lower than that of day visitors, the revenue that they provide is proportionally more, meaning that SFR visitors are likely to be staying for long weekends, short breaks and holidays,” continued Martin Peters.

The research undertaken is based on Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM), which approaches the measurement of tourism at a local level from the supply side (i.e. accommodation, attractions). STEAM quantifies the local economic impact of tourism, from both stay and day visitors. The research covers the period from 2005 to 2006.

The STEAM model is owned and operated by Global Tourism Solutions (UK) Limited.

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