Covid recovery efforts increase visitor economy value by £60m
Lincoln’s Covid-recovery in 2021 saw a 53% economic boost to the visitor economy after the lockdowns of 2020, according to new figures released by Global Tourism Solutions (GTS), for City of Lincoln Council.
The new economic report paints a positive picture reflecting the recovery work delivered by City of Lincoln Council, Visit Lincoln and Lincoln BIG.
The data shows that in 2021, one million more people visited Lincoln as the city reopened following Covid restrictions. This resulted in a total visitor spend of £159.5 million; this is £60m more than the rolling lockdowns of 2020 where spend dropped to £100m from £216m in 2019 before Covid.
Charlotte Goy, Chief Executive at Destination Lincolnshire which manages Visit Lincoln, said: “These statistics are worth their weight in gold when it comes to showing the value of Lincoln’s visitor economy and they show that everyone’s effort in rebuilding the sector is working.
“Government predicted it would take up to four years for the visitor economy to return to its pre-pandemic levels of spend, but Lincoln has shown great resilience having recovered over 50% of its Covid losses in 2021.
“There is of course still more work to be done in order for us as a destination and a community to grow beyond pre-pandemic levels of recovery and growth, but I think with the right marketing and investment - like we’re seeing through the Town Deals - the city and county can do it.
“We are under no illusion that it will be an uphill journey, the current ‘cost of living crisis’ alone is already proving to be a difficult hurdle for businesses to overcome. But now more than ever, it is vital that we work together and cross-sectors to encourage people to stay longer and spend more with our local businesses.”
Cllr Neil Murray, Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Economic Growth at City of Lincoln Council, said: “To see a 58.2% increase in the local economy through visitor and tourism expenditure following the Covid pandemic is an achievement.
“What we found in the year following the pandemic was a substantial increase in domestic tourism, in which those local to the area took advantage of what was on their doorstep and were able to re-discover all Lincoln has to offer. We are incredibly proud to be Lincoln and hope to see these figures increase further in future years.”
THE NUMBERS 2020-2021
- £159.5m generated within the local economy through visitor and tourism expenditure in 2021 (£104.39m in 2020, a 52.8% increase)
- Visitor numbers in 2021 increased to 2.95million (2.03million in 2020)
- 1,370 full time equivalent jobs in the tourism industry during 2021 (986 in 2020)
- 3.3m visitor days in 2021 (2.2m in 2020)
THE NUMBERS 2019-2020
- £104.4m generated within the local economy through visitor and tourism expenditure in 2020 (down 52.7% from 2019, which totalled £220.8m)
- Visitor numbers in 2020 decreased to 2.03million (4.23million in 2019, a drop of 52%)
- 986 full time equivalent jobs in the tourism industry during 2020 (decreasing from 1,991 in 2019, a drop of 50.5%)
- 2.2m visitor days in 2020 (4.7m in 2019, a drop of 52.3%)
Michele Sims, Visitor Information Centre Manager, said: “The recent Global Tourism Solutions (UK) Ltd’s report shows Lincoln is firmly back, welcoming 2.95 million visitors in 2021. There are economic challenges to face, but the local tourism economy will continue to grow with the city and county’s strong tourism offer, further aided by the return of international visitors.
“The Lincoln Visitor Information Centre has been there for local and regional visitors who have really immersed and discovered for themselves the tourism offer on their doorstep; alongside the superb heritage attractions Lincoln is famous for, outdoor activities; waterparks, walking and cycling have grown enormously popular over the last two years. With so much to offer everyone, no wonder Lincoln is ranked in the top tier of Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards for 2022.”