New research shows that the emerging Staying with Friends and Relatives (SFR) market has made a significant contribution to the visitor economy in Leicester and Leicestershire. In 2006, SFR visitors to Leicester contributed over £112 million to the local economy, 28% of the total revenue received from visitors to the city.
The findings are part of a major study into the economic impact of tourism in Leicester, Leicestershire and throughout the East Midlands, commissioned by East Midlands Tourism.
Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions commented: 'The growth in the SFR market is largely focused in the urban city area. With the new city centre brand for 2008 we expect that the growth in the SFR market will continue to rise, benefiting the visitor economy throughout the city and the wider county.
'Although the number of SFR visitors is significantly lower than that of day visitors, the revenue that they provide is proportionally more, meaning that SFR visitors are likely to be staying for long weekends, short breaks and holidays.'
Tom Wright, Chief Executive at VisitBritain said: 'Staying with friends and relatives is an increasingly important market for tourism within Britain and these figures highlight the importance of this sector for the Leicester and Leicestershire region. As well as the revenue that this sector provides, friends and family are also able to give recommendations on where to go and what to see and act as ambassadors for the area as a whole.'
Leicester Shire Promotions is a private, not-for-profit company formed in 2003 as a partnership between Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council and the Leicester Shire Economic Partnership. For further information, visit www.goleicestershire.com/lpl.