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Ribble Valley Visitor Numbers Top Four Million Again

Ribble Valley scene Published Friday, 23 November 2018

The number of visitors to Ribble Valley has topped four million for the second year running, according to new figures.

And the picturesque borough, famed for its fine food and drink, now accounts for six per cent of all visitors to Lancashire.

Ribble Valley’s booming visitor economy generated nearly £250million in expenditure and 3,262 full-time equivalent jobs last year, 7.6 per cent more than 2016, the Marketing Lancashire figures have revealed.

Many visitors were attracted by the borough’s food and drink, which has been championed by Ribble Valley Borough Council for many years through several successful initiatives, particularly the Clitheroe Food Festival, now in its seventh year and considered one of the best in the UK.

The council also devised the successful partnership, Wedding Heaven, between venues licensed for marriage ceremonies and civil partnerships to promote the borough as a premier wedding destination.

Rupert Swarbrick, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s economic development committee, said: “These latest figures are great news for the borough and reflect yet another year of sustainable growth in the local visitor economy.

“Not only is Ribble Valley attracting more day-trippers, but the number of staying visitors has increased by nearly 10 per cent, resulting in a 7.6 per cent growth in the visitor economy.

“Tourism is a key part of our economic strategy and we have worked hard to develop key markets, such as food and drink, walking and weddings, with considerable success.

“These figures reflect the significant contribution of the visitor economy to the economic wellbeing of the borough and, indeed, Lancashire.”

Ribble Valley is one of the UK’s premier food destinations, dubbed ‘the Dordogne of the UK’, and boasts some of the best eateries in the country, including the Michelin-starred Northcote and three of the country’s Top 50 gastro-pubs.

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