Lincolnshire tourism industry breaks £1.5 billion barrier

The North Sea Observatory on its opening.
The North Sea Observatory on its opening.

The value of Lincolnshire’s tourism industry has broken the £1.5 billion barrier, new figures have shown – and an attraction near Skegness has been credited as helping bring about the success.

The latest STEAM figures show that in 2018 the county attracted around 21 million visitors – a 2.5 per cent rise on the previous year.

As a result, the county’s visitor economy has increased by seven per cent to pass the £1.5 billion mark for the first time, reaching £1.58 billion.

This represents a staggering 62 per cent rise over a 10 year period.

STEAM figures are prepared by Global Tourism Solutions, an independent tourism research company.

Responding to the latest data, Coun Colin Davie, executive member for economy and place, said: “Tourism is a key industry for the county economy, employing more than 20,000 people.

“We’re working hard to attract even more visitors, and over the last couple of years we’ve dramatically improved what we have to offer.

“And although the summer remains our busiest time of year, we’re now seeing an increasing number of visitors in October and March.

“That suggests our efforts to extend the traditional tourist season, with new attractions like the North Sea Observatory, are paying off.”

The North Sea Observatory, at Chapel Point, opened its doors to the public last summer and welcomed 36,000 visitors in its first six months.

Looking ahead, Coun Davie continued: “The increasing number of direct trains between Lincoln and London will make it easier for overseas visitors to discover all our county has to offer.

“And with the extensive improvements at Lincoln Cathedral and the Mayflower 400 celebrations on the horizon, I’m confident our tourism economy will continue to thrive in the years to come.”

Coun Steve Kirk, portfolio holder for coastal economy, said: “The positive growth for the county’s visitor economy demonstrates the importance of tourism to Lincolnshire, which is reflected across the East Lindsey district with year on year increases for visitor numbers and spend.”

He added: “We are committed to supporting our businesses, investing and developing the area even further as an attractive visitor destination. East Lindsey District Council is currently undertaking a £400,000 improvement scheme at Tower Esplanade and this builds on recent investments at Skegness’ Rockery Gardens and the support we’ve given to our partners Magna Vitae with developments at the Embassy Centre and Altitude44.”