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Leicester and Leicestershire awarded official VisitEngland partnership status

'Tourism is worth more than £2 billion to Leicester.'

Leicester's Great Central Railway is just one of the many tourist opportunities within the county.
Leicester's Great Central Railway is just one of the many tourist opportunities within the county.

National tourism agency, VisitEngland has awarded Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) status to the Place Marketing team for Leicester and Leicestershire, which delivers Visit Leicester.

According to the 2022 Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM) survey, the tourism economy is worth £2.07bn to Leicester and Leicestershire, an increase of £440 million since 2021 and £108m up on pre-pandemic figure of £1.962bn.

Over 30.5 million people visited Leicester and Leicestershire in 2022, an increase of 2.38 million on the previous year and up 18.64 million since the pandemic.

Official destination management accreditation will leverage national opportunities to promote the local visitor economy in Leicester and Leicestershire.

Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "Tourism is worth more than £2 billion to the city and county and therefore essential to our local economy.

"The accreditation from VisitEngland will help us to continue to support local tourism businesses and to grow and develop this important sector."

This national recognition as one of the country’s leading destination management organisations will enable the Place Marketing team to work more closely with other nationally and regionally accredited LVEPs, and further raise the profile of the city and county as national visitor destinations.

The King Richard III Visitor Centre is one of Leicester's key tourism assets.
The King Richard III Visitor Centre is one of Leicester's key tourism assets.

LVEP accreditation offers a range of benefits to the Place Marketing team and the local visitor economy including building a strategic direct relationship with VisitEngland/VisitBritain and onwards to DCMS, the opportunity to apply for government grants and funding, and the chance to participate in national marketing activity and travel trade activity. It will also provide access to VisitEngland and VisitBritain expertise and sector intelligence, business support and training through the VisitEngland Academy.

The Place Marketing team’s new Leicester and Leicestershire LVEP status will enable it to form part of a VisitEngland portfolio of strategic and high-performing organisations that manage visitor destinations, helping to deliver government ambition for tourism as well as championing the interests of the local visitor economy. 

Under the new Leicester and Leicestershire LVEP, the Place Marketing team, which is managed jointly by Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council, will work collaboratively with the public and private sector, covering the city and the county including the seven districts.

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: "The Local Visitor Economy Partnerships programme is transforming the visitor economy landscape in England, supporting its growth in a more inclusive, accessible and sustainable way, and I am delighted to welcome Leicester and Leicestershire.

"Working together, the LVEPs are simplifying our tourism landscape, ensuring England continues to be a compelling destination for both domestic and international visitors. As Leicester and Leicestershire is established as an LVEP, VisitEngland will provide ongoing support including a dedicated regional lead."

Melton Mowbray is known for its iconic pork pie.
Melton Mowbray is known for its iconic pork pie.

Leicestershire County Council leader, Nick Rushton, commented: "The city and county have a strong offer for local, national and international visitors and are proud to be home to England’s rural capital of food, Melton Mowbray.

"The award recognises the collaborative approach we’ve taken to boosting tourism and means we can target new international destinations for visitors, look for new funding opportunities, step up repeat visitations and much more."

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