PEOPLE are being reminded about the many attractions and locations just waiting to be explored in Staffordshire as part of the county’s celebrations for English Tourism Week.
Taking place from March 30 to 5 April 5, the annual campaign aims to raise the profile of the industry and celebrate the value and quality of tourism in England.
Tourism in Staffordshire is booming, with an increase in spend of 41 per cent since 2008, now making it a £1.8bn a year industry. It is also the fourth largest employer in the county, employing almost 32,000 people.
The county is home to two of the UK’s leading theme parks; Drayton Manor Park in Tamworth and the Alton Towers Resort, which opens its brand-new Dungeon attraction this year which takes guests on a hilariously hideous journey through Staffordshire’s darkest history.
The county is also home to majestic countryside including the Peak District National Park, the National Forest and Cannock Chase – a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, while Staffordshire’s extensive canal network is amongst the largest in the country.
Philip Atkins, Leader at Staffordshire County Council said:“Staffordshire truly is a wonderful county to visit with amazing attractions and locations. Whether it’s world-class theme parks, historic buildings and gardens or acres of magnificent countryside we have something for everyone.
“Tourism is really booming here in the county but for many people we are still a relatively hidden treasure. Our tourism businesses continue to do us proud and a great job, providing a high-quality offer and always innovating. We’ll continue to work closely with our tourism partners, business community and our own teams like highways and countryside team to make sure we make the county as attractive to visitors as possible.”
Historic houses and gardens also feature heavily amongst Staffordshire’s world-class visitor attractions, together with museums and visitor centres that tell the story of the county’s pottery industry, brewing industry and rich industrial heritage.
Lichfield Cathedral, the UK’s only medieval three-spired cathedral, forms the centrepiece of the historic city and nearby the National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre for remembrance and a living, growing tribute.
Other popular Staffordshire attractions include, the Trentham Estate and adjacent Monkey Forest, the World of Wedgwood, Water World, the SnowDome, Uttoxeter Racecourse, Weston Park and the Shugborough Estate.