Oxfordshire Exceeds Target for Visitor Spend

Nov 27 2018

 For Immediate Release:

 The recently published Economic Impact Report for Tourism in Oxfordshire, a report commissioned by Experience Oxfordshire, has shown a significant increase in visitor spend in 2017. The study shows an impressive increase in spend of 6% taking the value of the visitor economy spend to £2.17 billion, exceeding the target of 5% growth year on year.

The study shows that the County welcomed nearly 30 million visitors during 2017 which supported nearly 37,000 jobs across the Oxfordshire accounting for 10% of all employment and an also notable increase of 6% compared to the previous year.

The study also highlights both an increase in domestic and overseas day trips and overnight stays and increased spend in both day visits and over night visits. However, the study clearly highlights the importance of the overseas markets to Oxfordshire with the average length of stay being longer and the spend per visit for an overseas visitor being an average of £484 per trip compared to £168 per trip for a domestic trip. Numbers of international visitors continued to rise by 3% with a total of 702,000 overseas visitors coming to Oxfordshire in 2017, and spending over £339 million.

The main reason visitors come to Oxfordshire is for holiday (53%), followed by visiting friends and relatives (22%) and business (19%). The largest proportion of visitor spend was on food and drink (32%), followed by shopping (23%), travel (22%), accommodation (13%) and attractions and entertainment (10%).

The report shows that the visitor economy is extremely important across the whole of Oxfordshire with the largest proportion of visitor spending taking place in Oxford (40%) and the largest number of visits to North Oxfordshire (26%) with Oxford City closely followed with 25% of the total visits.

Chief Executive of Experience Oxfordshire, Hayley Beer-Gamage commenting on the report said;

“These results clearly show the continued importance of the Visitor Economy to Oxfordshire and we are delighted that we have exceeded our target for increased visitor spend. An increase of over 6% and a value of £2.17 billion shows clear growth in the sector and exceeds the national target of 5%. It also supports our own destination strategy of increasing the length of stay and attracting more overnight international visitors to Oxfordshire. This is the fourth consecutive year of growth in the visitor economy sector and Experience Oxfordshire work hard to ensure that we are attracting the right types of visitor to the City and County and also supporting our partners in driving growth across the sector in a sustainable and manageable way.”

Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, Cabinet Member for Education and Cultural Services at Oxfordshire County Council, said:

“I am delighted the value of the tourism sector to Oxfordshire is recognised and the work of Experience Oxfordshire and its Council partners is paying off with a big increase in the value of the sector. The County Council has a strong interest in tourism, ranging from encouraging people to get married in beautiful Oxfordshire, through to developing sustainable transport options such as park and ride so people can spend quality time in our historic towns and city.”

 Commenting on the report, Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council and Economic Development and Growth portfolio holder, said:

“These are a really positive set of results and we are not surprised to see that Oxford continues to be a destination of choice for a significant number of people. The visitor economy is a significant part of our local economy with more than 15,000 of our local resident’s dependent on it for their livelihood, up 5% on last year. I’d like to encourage more employers in the sector to pay the living Wage as this will give them an advantage in the retention and recruitment of staff. I’m encouraged by the overall increase in visitor spend in Oxford in particular, up by approximately 5% to over £800m.”

Councillor Lynn Pratt, Cherwell District Council lead member for estates and the economy, said:

“Cherwell is a wonderful destination for visitors and these figures prove it.  The fact that we saw even more visitors in 2017 than 2016 reflects the wider growth of our district.  But it also demonstrates the fact that our towns, villages and countryside have something very special to offer people visiting both from overseas and from other parts of the UK.”




For more information contact:
Antonio Ferrara
Phone: 01865 686433
Email: Antonio.ferrara@experienceoxfordshire.org  / press@experienceoxfordshire.org


Experience Oxfordshire is the Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for Oxfordshire. We are a not-for-profit partnership organisation committed to the promotion, management and development of Oxfordshire as a great destination to live, work, visit and do business. We have a growing partnership network of businesses spanning all parts of the visitor economy, and through effective collaboration we are all working to ensure Oxfordshire becomes a leading destination for tourism, culture and business.



The Economic Impact Study
The Economic Impact Study commissioned by Experience Oxfordshire examines the volume and value of tourism to the local economy, with further regard for employment generated as a result of this tourism. It assesses these factors using the Cambridge Economic Impact Model, which utilises information from regional data, and national tourism surveys. A full copy of the report can be found here