Leeds and Sheffield in top 20 most visited places in UK

A new report has revealed that The North of England provides nine of the 20 most visited areas in England, with Leeds and Sheffield making the list.

It reveals that visitor spending accounted for £21 billion in 2019 and that there is an opportunity for the North to capitalise further on this.

Key points include:

  • In 2019, the North accounted for 25% of tourism spending in England – and that goes up to 37% if you don’t count London.

  • The total visitor spend across the North in 2019 was estimated at £21.05 billion – with a total net GVA contribution from that of £12.33 billion.

  • That came from some 420 million visits in 2019 – six million of which were by international visitors.

  • The North’s big cities - Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle – were top of the league for places to go.

  • Cumbria and North Yorkshire rank second and third in the UK for the share of economic output attributable to tourism – bettered only by Cornwall.

  • The visitor economy provides jobs for 579,000 people and 39,000 businesses – accounting for 8% of total employment in the North – with many more jobs supported indirectly.

  • April and August are the most popular months to visit the North for both domestic and international visitors.

Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive of Transport for the North, said:

The report also adds that Northern Powerhouse Rail and High Speed 2 could provide a step change in connectivity which will increase the attractiveness of the region for domestic business and leisure visitors, while also providing better links to key international gateways such as Manchester Airport and those in other parts of England.

The region’s political and business leaders will be considering a number of key topics around levelling up and economic recovery, and also looking at issues such as inclusivity and accessibility, encouraging people back to public transport, and funding transport investment.