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East Midlands Chamber News

Peak visitor attraction

David James, Chief Executive, Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, wrote for In Business:

“Tourism’s key contribution to the Peak District and Derbyshire economy first came to the fore during the foot and mouth crisis in 2001.

"Many local businesses suffered because visitors stayed away from the countryside – and Visit Peak District & Derbyshire was set up in 2005 to acknowledge the industry’s increasing economic significance.

“Eight years on, it continues to pool resources from the public and private sectors to build the destination’s profile both in Britain and overseas, and to bring in more staying visitors for the benefit of the local and regional economy.

“Working with a wide range of partners – from Derbyshire County Council, all other local authorities in and around the Peak District and the University of Derby to private sector commercial partners, patrons and members, we have established a distinctive brand to compete with other leading English tourism destinations.

“Research compiled using a mode, widely used by the tourism industry, revealed that in 2011 tourism generated £1.7bn for the Peak District and Derbyshire. The number of people working in the industry was just over 27,000 and almost 39 million people visited the area.”

"As one of 14 primary destinations pinpointed by national tourist board VisitEngland to take part in a Regional Growth Fund programme worth £600,000 over three years, we ran an advertising billboard campaign at the beginning of 2013.

"The key aim was to encourage potential visitors from Birmingham and Manchester to spend a short break here. Early indications suggest it could have had a positive impact on encouraging new visits to our website – the number of unique visitors in May 2013 was up by almost 40 per cent on the same period last year.

"Now our plans for year two of the campaign are awaiting approval by VisitEngland – and we should be in a position to reveal full details later on this year.”