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Wednesday 3 February 2016

Cheshire East visitor economy sees another leap in hotel business


Cheshire East’s hospitality industry enjoyed a boom year with hotel room bookings rising by 2.1 per cent in 2015.

The increase shows the Borough did better than Cheshire West, Liverpool, York and Warrington.

Cheshire East has enjoyed year-on-year success in its hotel and guest house sector with an increase in hotel occupancy rates of 14 per cent since 2012, compared with a national increase of 7.8 per cent.

Hotel and guest house occupancy increased for the fourth year running, rising from 59.9 per cent in 2012 to 75.6 per cent in 2015.

The number of bed nights rose to nearly 447,000, compared to 426,000 in 2014.

The Borough’s hospitality economy has continued in an upward spiral since 2009, when it was worth £152m compared with £218m in 2014, while the overall visitor economy is worth a staggering £800m to the Borough, with huge spin-off benefits to local businesses.

A wide range of events and attractions are credited for the Borough’s hospitality and tourism performance, from canal boating to wedding fairs and venues, artisan markets, cultural festivals and even brewery trails.

The prospect of staging a leg of the famous Tour of Britain cycle race later this year is certain to give an added injection of income to the industry and celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday will also generate additional investment.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cabinet member in charge of communities, said: “This is fantastic news and sends out the message that there is always a warm welcome here in Cheshire East.

“I congratulate our hoteliers and guest house owners, who continue to raise the bar in standards so that our visitors know they will get quality accommodation with a smile and that here in Cheshire East there is plenty to do and see throughout the year.”

Other factors which have added to the rising numbers of visitors are the RHS Flower Show, the agricultural and trade shows and the Borough’s proximity to Liverpool, Manchester and Manchester Airport. Last year’s Tour de France cycling event through Yorkshire also helped to boost visitor numbers.

Hoteliers and guest houses reaped a 5.1 per cent rise in room revenue, with guests prepared to pay more for their accommodation, reflecting a £2.59 average increase per room.

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