A new report has revealed the massive impact tourism has on the economy of the Lincolnshire Wolds and surrounding market towns, including Horncastle.
The report, recently commissioned by East Lindsey District Council, has revealed that from 2014 to 2016, the economic benefit of tourism within the Lincolnshire Wolds Destination Plan area has grown from £153m to £166.58m.
Whether it is walking, cycling or just enjoying the surrounding unspoilt landscapes, the district council says the reports indicates more people than ever are visiting the Wolds.
And the district council says it is determined to build on that impressive growth with a series of initiatives over the coming months.
ELDC’s Portfolio Holder for Market Towns and the Rural Economy, Coun Adam Grist, said: “We are delighted the findings show a continued increase in the value of tourism to the Wolds, which is very encouraging for our many residents and businesses.
“With more people taking holidays at home, it is vital that we boost the profile of the Wolds, which has been an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for more than 40 years, but largely undiscovered as a diverse visitor destination.
“The area has so much to offer and we must ensure that we take every opportunity to showcase all of the hidden gems around us.”
ELDC is working with West Lindsey District Council, the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service, and businesses in the area to continue promoting the Wolds as a visitor destination.
The council has developed a new website, ‘lovelincolnshirewolds.com’ and is investing in PR and digital marketing to raise the profile of the area.
It has also commissioned the development of three films for the Wolds focusing on the active outdoors (including cycling and walking); food and drink and heritage and culture (including the 125th anniversary of the death of poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
To mark this anniversary, ELDC is relaunching the popular Tennyson Trail leaflet and there are several talks as part of the annual Wolds Words Festival in October.
A new trail will also be launched to commemorate the poet Sir John Betjeman, who also had connections with the area.
The visitor report also highlights that an increasing number of visitors are choosing to stay in self-catering accommodation.