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Sheffield tourism chiefs toast big rise in visitors

The Winter Gardens in Sheffield city centre is popular with visitors.

The Winter Gardens in Sheffield city centre is popular with visitors.

Business and tourism chiefs today welcomed news that thousands of extra overseas visitors provided an £87 million boost to the city’s economy last year.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics show the city had 151,000 overseas visitors during 2013 – about 26,000 more than 2012.

And total spending by foreign visitors was put at £148m last year compared to just £61m in 2012 – a 120 per cent rise.

The figures included an extra 15,000 business visitors, as the numbers coming to the city for trade reasons reached 45,000 last year.

Nationally, the British tourism industry enjoyed a record year in terms of visitor numbers and spending.

Overseas visitors spent £21.01 billion in the UK in 2013.

Marketing Sheffield director Brendan Moffett said: “It is a strong UK performance. What Marketing Sheffield does do is work very closely with national tourism agencies such as Visit England and Visit Britain.

“We make sure we are aligned to their marketing, and that is working across the board.

“In terms of business visitors, there has been a major push on attracting international conferences.

“I think another aspect is the make-up of the Sheffield population and the international feel of the place with so many students from overseas.

“That opens up another market which is their friends and relatives coming to visit.”

The success of the 2012 Olympics had also helped to promote the UK as an attractive visitor destination.

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, added: “From a Chamber point of view, we are pushing export and international trade like mad.

“I’m glad it is going up because there is a lot of work going in to getting it up.”

Some of Sheffield’s popular attractions:

Kelham Island Museum

Meadowhall shopping centre

Millennium Gallery

Sheffield Cathedral

Sheffield Doc/Fest

Sheffield Theatres

Tramlines

Weston Park Museum

Winter Garden

World Snooker Championship

 

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