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Great year for South Downs National Park
1:00pm Sunday 17th March 2013 in News
Visitors to the South Downs National Park put £464.4 million a year into the local economy.
The first visitor survey since the South Downs became a national park in April 2011 shows it generates the third largest visitor expenditure output in the country after the Lake District (£952m) and the Pembrokeshire Coast (£498m).
The South Downs has also sup- ported 8,200 jobs – an increase of 13.5% compared to 2003/4 – and local businesses feel they will benefit from the area, stretching 87 miles from Winchester to Eastbourne, being designated as a national park, according to the report.
Bed occupancy in hotels and bed and breakfasts has also increased since 2003/4 from 43% to 49% in 2011/12.
Margaret Paren, chairman of the South Downs National Park, said: “This is vital evidence of the role that tourism plays in boosting the regional economy and how much local people value their time in the South Downs National Park.
“It is very important that we balance raising the profile of the South Downs to support the local economy with encouraging people to visit sustain- ably and reduce their impact on the landscape.”
For the full story see this weekend’s Argus.
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