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Tourism boost for county economy

Tourism boosted the Shropshire economy by £767.23 million last year, according to a new report.

Figures released by official tourism organisation Visit Shropshire show the full extent of benefits brought to the county in 2022.

Of the 10,040,000 people who visited, there were 1,410,000 overnight stays and 8,630,000 day trips. In addition a total of 8,474 people are now employed in the county’s tourism sector.

Mark Hooper, project lead of Visit Shropshire, said: “These latest figures highlight the huge contribution that tourism and hospitality businesses make to the Shropshire economy.

“There has been a 6.4% increase in overnight stays when compared to 2019 - this shows Shropshire is becoming seen as a longer stay destination when compared to historic figures which suggest the county has been better known as a day visit location.

“While the report’s figures for 2022 are positive, we will never be complacent and continue to work with our partners to promote the county as a great place to visit.”

Data from Visit Shropshire’s transport partners at Transport for Wales and West Midlands Railway show that rail travel to the county has seen a significant increase in the last 12 months, with the Birmingham to Shrewsbury line enjoying year-on-year growth of 17.5%.

Mark added: “With new developments such as Smithfield Riverside in Shrewsbury and linking Oswestry to the national rail network we are excited about what the future holds for the county, with tourism continuing to be a major contributor to our economy.

“Shropshire is such a unique place, drawing people from all over the world, with its unparalleled charm. We look forward to seeing visitor numbers continue to rise, as the county’s reputation as a must-visit location grows.”

Clare Featherstone, head of culture, leisure and tourism at Shropshire Council, said: “I am delighted that we now have up to date information on the visitor economy sector, which will help us focus the delivery of the Destination Management Plan for Shropshire and better measure the impact of this on the development of the sector going forward.”