New research reveals that tourism had a £1.3 billion economic impact on South Lakeland last year – up 5.6% on 2017.
The research by STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) is used by Cumbria Tourism to measure the volume and value of tourism across Cumbria to inform tourism policy and development.
South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) and other local authorities in Cumbria support towards the research, with the resulting figures used to help access funding and develop strategies around the visitor economy.
The latest figures show that South Lakeland’s contribution is by far the highest share of any of Cumbria’s districts, with the district’s £1.3 billion representing 44% of the county’s total tourism revenue of £3 billion.
Carlisle is next highest, with a share worth £558 million (18% of the total), then Allerdale at £469 million, representing 16%.
The tourism sector supports 16,177 full-time jobs in South Lakeland, which is almost half of all the tourism–related jobs in Cumbria. Many more people also find work in tourism on a part-time or seasonal basis.
Visitor numbers to South Lakeland are also up. In 2018, 18.54 million visitors came to the district, up nearly 200,000 on the previous year. Overall in Cumbria there were 47 million visitors in 2018.
Commenting on the latest tourism industry report, Councillor Robin Ashcroft, South Lakeland District Council’s portfolio holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, said: “Once again we have a report that confirms how strong the South Lakeland economy is performing and what a vital role this district plays in the wider Cumbrian economy.
“The fact that nearly half of the entire £3 billion Cumbrian tourism revenue is generated in South Lakeland demonstrates what an economic powerhouse this area is. It is also gratifying to see that this growth is helping to create more jobs, with tourism now supporting more than 16,000 full-time jobs in South Lakeland.
“This is further evidence of South Lakeland’s economic strengths. We have already been ranked as Cumbria’s fastest growing economy and one of the most vibrant economies in the north west.
“We are seeing real progress on our key Council Plan commitment to help our towns and villages to thrive commercially and our ambition to work together to make South Lakeland the best place to live, work and explore.’’