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Eastbourne Sees Record Year for Tourism Jobs and Visitor Spend

04 October 2016

Latest research shows tourist spending in Eastbourne continues to grow with more than £287 million spent in the local economy last year, leading to the highest ever number of tourism supported jobs in the town.

Packed beaches at Airbourne 2016


Conducted throughout 2015 by Tourism South East, the survey concludes that over 8,000 jobs in Eastbourne’s economy are now tourism supported, its highest level since research began, accounting for just over a fifth of the working population.

Continuing the year on year increase in overnight stays, the latest results show a particularly strong growth in overseas visitors of 4.4% since last year, who stay on average 5 nights longer than UK visitors and spend 173% more.

Day visitors in Eastbourne also appear to be spending more, bucking the regional trend with an increase in spend of 3%, despite an overall fall across the south east.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “After expanding our overseas marketing activity last year, it’s great to see this pay dividends as we continue to grow our overseas market. Tourism impacts on so many businesses, from taxi drivers to shops and restaurants – I am delighted to see these results as more and more visitor spending flows into our economy.”

Food and drink accounted for more than a third of all spending, followed by accommodation 20%, shopping 17%, attractions/entertainment 16% and transport 12%.

The study which examines the value, volume and economic impact of tourism, uses the Cambridge Model, widely recognised throughout the tourism industry and used by regional tourist boards over the last decade.

Using nationwide surveys, such as the Great Britain Tourism Survey and the International Passenger Survey, the report also uses local surveys including room occupancy rates, attraction surveys and retail footfall to generate a computer model of tourism in Eastbourne.

The total value of tourism in Eastbourne, taking into account indirect and income induced spending is now estimated to be £388 million over the course of the year.

Key statistics from the 2015 report include:

  • Total visitors 4.9 million
  • Staying visitors 715,000
  • Bed nights 2,134,000
  • Staying visitors spend £171,104,000
  • Day visits 4,160,000
  • Day visitor spend £129,000,000
  • Overseas staying visitors 71,000
  • Overseas visitor spending £39,564,000

Total spending (removing any expenditure outside of the town boundary) of £287,499,000 includes:

  • Food & Drink £100,564,000
  • Accommodation £55,498,000
  • Shopping £46,780,000
  • Attractions/entertainment £43,706,000
  • Travel (spent within the town) £32,133,000
  • Other £8,768,000
  • Tourism supported jobs 8,037
  • Total value of Tourism £388,392,000

To view the full report visit

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