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Heritage tourism worth £16.4bn to England’s economy – report

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England’s heritage tourism has generated up to £16.4bn (US$22.2bn, €18.6bn) in visitor spending a year, directly employing 278,000 people and contributing £11.9bn (US$16.1bn, €13.5bn) gross added value to the economy.

The figures are published in a new report from Historic England titled Heritage and the Economy 2017, which reveals the latest financial results from 2015.

Historic England says the historic environment is a significant contributor to the national economy, attracting tourists and in turn supporting thousands of jobs while contributing to economic growth.

England, which ranks among the top countries of the world in terms of heritage, generates 68p (US$0.92, €0.77) in the local community for every 32p (€0.32, US$0.43) spent on site during a heritage visit. This spending is divided out in places such as restaurants, cafés, hotels and shops local to heritage attractions in England.

Using heritage as a brand for the UK has proved effective, says the Historic England report, which identifies heritage as a key part of the UK brand and a strong product driver for most overseas markets – something leaned on heavily by VisitBritain as part of its ‘GREAT’ campaign.

"England's historic environment provides jobs, attracts tourists and contributes to the construction sector and GVA,” said Adala Leeson, head of Social and Economic Research at Historic England.

“It's intrinsically linked to the whole country's economic prosperity. Our new report shows the value that heritage brings to England. It's not just about money. We are growing the ways in which we can measure the social benefits that heritage brings through the sense of identity and belonging that it gives communities.”

To read the full report, click here.

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England’s heritage tourism has generated up to £16.4bn (US$22.2bn, €18.6bn) in visitor spending a year, directly employing 278,000 people and contributing £11.9bn (US$16.1bn, €13.5bn) gross added value to the economy.
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Windsor Castle is among the UK's most popular heritage attractions  / Shutterstock.com

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