Published: Friday, 11th January 2019
Visits to Sevenoaks increased by 8.5% with the district welcoming 4.3 million visitors in 2017, according to research released this week.
Independent research commissioned by Visit Kent showed that the number of day trips to the Sevenoaks District leapt by 9% in 2017, meanwhile the total number of nights stayed in the District increased by 3.8%.
The value of Sevenoaks District visitor economy grew by 5.4% in 2017 and is now worth over £243 million.
The total number of jobs supported by tourism rose by 5.1% to 5,287, with the industry accounting for 10% of total employment in Sevenoaks.
A further boost to tourism in 2018 was the £8.5 million investment by Sevenoaks District Council to build a Premier Inn Hotel close to the Sevenoaks station. The hotel opened in August last year and is expected to bring millions of pounds of new investment into the local economy.
The tourism picture was rosy across the county in 2017, despite the challenges presented by ongoing Brexit negotiations and wet weather during the summer. Kent welcomed 65 million visitors in 2017, and the visitor economy’s value leapt by 7% to £3.8 billion.
Sevenoaks District Council Cabinet Member for Economic & Community Development, Cllr Roddy Hogarth, says: “This is very good news. Sevenoaks District is a wonderful place to visit and we are delighted that more and more people are coming to see what we have to offer and supporting the local economy”
He also added “Now we have a brand new hotel in Sevenoaks, visitors can spend even more time here supporting local pubs, restaurants and shops.”
The Garden of England welcomed a record 64,970,000 visitors throughout 2017 with the county’s tourism industry accounting for 76,828 jobs. Across Kent, visitor numbers rose compared to the previous year with the highest volume of day trips, value of tourism and tourism related jobs recorded.
Kent remains the third most visited destination outside of London for foreign visitors.
Chief executive of Visit Kent, Deirdre Wells OBE says: “Tourism is the UK’s fastest growing service sector and these figures demonstrate the contribution which our vital industry makes to the economy of Kent. With our stunning countryside, world-class heritage, and delicious locally sourced food and drink, it is no surprise that visitor numbers are increasing in districts like Sevenoaks year on year.
“The collective efforts of tourism businesses across the county have paid dividends and this partnership will be critical in ensuring that this growth continues during a challenging year ahead.”
She adds: “These figures demonstrate that, wherever you are based in Kent, tourism can bring growth, prosperity and jobs to your community. Our challenge going forward will be to turn more of our day visits into overnight stays and short breaks, bringing even further growth to the county.”
The research uses the industry-respected Cambridge Economic Impact Model to measure the volume and value of tourism, and the impact of visits and visitor expenditure on the local economy. Studies were carried out across each of Kent’s districts to build an accurate picture of tourism performance in the county.
Since 2006, the value of Kent’s tourism industry has risen by 33%.
For more information about Sevenoaks, please visit www.visitsevenoaksdistrict.co.uk
Visit Kent Ltd is the Destination Management Organisation for Kent (the Garden of England), welcoming 65 million visitors a year, championing the county’s £3.8 billion tourism industry and supporting more than 77,000 jobs.
It is recognised as one of the country’s leading DMOs, targeting UK and overseas markets to raise Kent’s profile as a premier destination, improving quality and skills within the industry, and growing investment in tourism. Visit Kent is a public/private sector partnership supported by Kent County Council, Medway Council, district and borough councils, and the leading sector tourism businesses in Kent.
About The Cambridge Economic Impact Model
The figures were derived using the Cambridge Economic Impact Model undertaken by Sergi Jarques at Destination Research on behalf of Visit Kent. The Cambridge Economic Impact Model is an industry respected tool for measuring the economic impact of tourism in a given area. It utilises information from national tourism surveys and regional/local data (e.g. accommodation stock, inbound trips) of the level of tourism activity within a given local area.