Turner Contemporary, Margate
Turner Contemporary, Margate
Visit Kent, a body which attracts tourists to the county states it can attract another five million tourists within five years.
The Canterbury-based organisation believes this increase in visitors will generate another £300 million for the county’s economy and create more than 5,000 jobs.
The target comes as Visit Kent record 60.6 million visitors came to the Garden of England last year.
In the last 10 years, the county’s tourist economy has grown by 49%.
Announcing the target, Chairman Jonathan Neame, the boss of Faversham brewer Shepherd Neame, said: “Kent’s visitor economy is in a strong position, having grown significantly and steadily over the last decade, welcoming more people, supporting more jobs and bringing more money to the county than ever before.
“With the support of our public and private sector partners and leading stakeholders, including Kent County Council, we have great ambitions for the future of Kent’s visitor economy.
“We aim to bring an additional five million visitors to Kent in the next five years, and create an additional 5,000 jobs for the county.”
Kent continues to be the third most visited destination outside of London for foreign visitors.
Domestic holidays to the county have increased by 19% in the last ten years, compared to a 16% increase for London and the national average increase of 7%.
Independent research compiled earlier this month revealed that Kent’s visitor economy topped £3.6 billion for the first time ever in 2015, supporting 72,000 jobs.
Visit Kent chief executive Sandra Matthews-Marsh said: “Our latest figures show that we really do deliver on our promises. We set ourselves ambitious targets from the day we started to grow the visitor economy with more day trips and short breaks, and have seen consistent economic growth ever since.
“This is thanks to billions of pounds of investment by the public and private sector in to Kent’s tourism infrastructure to ensure a world-class visitor offer, and the unceasing commitment of our partners to work together on a single vision and strategy for tourism.
“This is a long-term strategy that will benefit the entire county. Not only does the visitor economy support job creation at all levels, from apprenticeships to graduate roles, but it also support social inclusion.”
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