Brexit continues to raise economic concerns for English councils, but there are positives to find. One example is the Local Government Association’s (LGA) recent announcement that domestic tourism is predicted to rise in the coming years, but how can councils ensure they'll benefit?
Domestic tourism on the rise
Ahead of World Tourism Day on 27 September 2016, the LGA commissioned a research project to forecast the performance of the English tourism industry over the next ten years. When revealing the findings, the LGA highlighted the potential for Brexit to inspire councils “to turn their cities and counties into thriving hotspots for the growing ‘staycation' market and overseas visitors”.
Overall, the numbers predict a 2.9% average yearly growth during the next decade, which is higher than the 2.5% rate for the general UK economy. This positive long-term outlook is driven by the tourist industry drawing 103 million overnight trips in 2015, representing an 11% increase on 2014.
Regionally, there was a 22% rise for the West Midlands, making it the fastest climber. Then came Yorkshire with 20%, while London and the South West were level on 14%.
Using tourism to improve local economies
LGA Chair of the Culture, Tourism and Sport Board Councillor Ian Stephens believes local authorities can raise their tourism revenue by implementing a number of changes: “Councils can use devolution deals [post-Brexit] to improve transport, infrastructure, skills and business support”.
By developing these capabilities, Mr Stephens also spoke of the benefits for the local communities living in tourist areas. He said that within a more promising economy, residents could have “an increased choice of facilities”– including restaurants, shops and events.
Liverpool, Plymouth and Staffordshire were highlighted as real-world examples in the research, with each council benefiting from their investment to boost visitor numbers. Plymouth has been particularly successful, having increased tourism jobs by 92% since 2008, with more than 8,000 now employed in the sector.
A rise in tourism numbers will be welcomed by English councils, with the extra revenue helping to provide stability during the UK’s post-Brexit readjustment. For specialist assistance, councils can call on Dukes Bailiffs for informed financial advice. Get in touch with our Contact Centre Manager for more information.