Visitor Economy Framework for Nottinghamshire Logo for visitor economy team

What is the Visitor Economy and how is this different to Tourism?

‘Tourism’ is the process of spending time away from home in pursuit of recreation, relaxation, pleasure or business, while making use of the commercial provision of services in the place being visited.

The ‘Visitor Economy’ includes tourism but goes beyond this and encompasses all the things that attract visitors, the infrastructure that supports their visit and the services provided to them i.e. the whole supply chain.

Photo of Bennerley viaduct

All tourists are visitors, but not all visitors are tourists. The pandemic has taught us to appreciate that local visits are important too. Nottinghamshire County Council wants residents AND visitors to explore and enjoy the Nottinghamshire countryside, attractions, market towns and villages, and to enjoy our fascinating stories.

Therefore, the Visitor Economy is the preferred term we use due to its wider economic impact and role in place-shaping.

We are committed to supporting businesses in the Visitor Economy sector. Our goal is to return to pre-pandemic levels as quickly as possible by 2025.

There is no denying that the Visitor Economy brings significant economic benefits to Nottinghamshire. Scarborough Tourism Economic Accommodation Model (STEAM) data (which is the industry standard for tourism data across the UK) indicated that, in 2019, 36 million visitors brought over £1.9 billion into our local economy and over 23,000 jobs were supported.

However, Covid-19 had a devastating and unprecedented impact on the sector, arguably more than any other. Consumer habits and behaviour shifted overnight and resulted in major changes to the sector leaving some businesses struggling and finding it difficult to adapt.

This was the major reason why we decided to refresh its Visitor Economy Strategy and throughout 2022, our Visitor Economy Strategy (VES) was revised. The objective was to consider the wider visitor economy landscape and to identify how we could support the short-term recovery of the sector as a whole, whilst maintaining long-term resilience amongst the key stakeholders.

Sherwood Forest cycling and mountain biking trails

After extensive research and in-depth public and stakeholder consultation, a refreshed Visitor Economy framework 2022 (VEF) was produced. This is our blueprint for the future of the sector in the county. With reference to the Visitor Economy, it very much is a case of ‘the sum is greater than the parts’ and the sector functions at its best when all businesses and stakeholders work together, recognise the part they play within it and understand the actions they need to take to move forwards. It is our role as leader, visionary and advisor to provide the vision and ambition which is what the framework sets out to do.

Download the framework here.

Visit Nottinghamshire promotes the visitor economy across both the city and county. It is a member organisation that provides advice with a Tourism Information Centre (TIC) based within in the city centre.

You can find out more about the attractions, organisations and businesses it promotes by going to their website.