A welcome boost for tourism in the Harrogate district

Destination Harrogate is pleased to share newly released figures that show the visitor economy of the Harrogate district is on the right path to recovery, painting a sunny picture for the local tourism industry as the summer holiday and the staycation season gets underway.

In 2019, visitor numbers to the Harrogate district were recorded at 6.47million, generating an impact of £606million for the local economy. Understandably, the pandemic led to a drop in visitor numbers in 2020 to 2.81million, valued at £279million (a percentage drop of 54 per cent).

However, new STEAM data, which measures the economic impact of visits to the district, shows that despite continuing challenges faced by the pandemic in 2021, Harrogate district demonstrated a strong recovery – attracting more than four million visitors to the Harrogate district, with an economic impact of £457million.

The data also shows visitors to the Harrogate district were staying longer and spending more money with local businesses in 2021 than they did prior to the pandemic. Data from 2019 shows that on average, an overnight visitor stayed 3.3 days and generated £316 for the local economy. In 2021, this rose to 3.5 days and £344.

The 2022 peak season is also off to a healthy start – with STR data, which focuses on hotel performance, indicating that in March, April and May, hotels were largely fuller and seeing a greater level of revenue per available room than they were in 2019. Strong performance in the district’s hotels, the majority of which are in Harrogate, generally indicates strong performance in tourism businesses of all types across the district.

Gemma Rio, head of Destination Harrogate, said: “These figures paint a positive picture for the recovery of the visitor economy in the Harrogate district and for the local economy as a whole.

“Our Destination Management Plan targets a full recovery of the visitor economy by 2023 and an increase in its value to £836.7 million by 2030.

“With some exciting events and marketing campaigns planned, together with a continued appetite for collaboration across the district, I’m confident that we will continue to see these figures move in the right direction for the rest of 2022 and beyond.”

More information from the STEAM report and STR data is available here.

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