Rural tourists spend £8.4bn

2 June 2000

Rural tourists spend £8.4bn

VISITORS to the English countryside spent around £8.4bn in 1998, according to a survey by governments countryside adviser the Countryside Agency.

The survey, part of a fuller report on leisure visits in the UK, found that more than 1.2bn day visits were made in 1998.

Launching the results, Countryside Agency chief executive Richard Wakeford said: "The countryside is still a very popular place where people go to enjoy themselves, with a simple walk, a good lunch, some shopping in country towns or simply to visit and enjoy the view.

"Sixty-six per cent of people visited the countryside in 1998, which compares favourably with other leisure-time activities and destinations."

The surveys main findings included:

* 66% of people in England visited the countryside in 1998.

* The average distance travelled to the countryside is 17.3 miles.

* 63% of visitors are professional, managerial, technical and skilled workers.

* 87% of visitors own or have access to a car.

* Each visitor spending over three hours in the countryside spends an average of £15.30.

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