Visitor Economy Framework for Nottinghamshire

What is the Visitor Economy and how is this different to Tourism?

‘Tourism’ is the process of spending time away from home in pursuit of recreation, relaxation, pleasure or business, while making use of the commercial provision of services in the place being visited.

The ‘Visitor Economy’ includes tourism but goes beyond this and encompasses all the things that attract visitors, the infrastructure that supports their visit and the services provided to them - the whole supply chain.

All tourists are visitors, but not all visitors are tourists. Local visits are important too. We want residents AND visitors to explore and enjoy the Nottinghamshire countryside, attractions, market towns and villages, and to enjoy our fascinating stories.

Therefore, the Visitor Economy is the term we use due to its wider economic impact and role in place-shaping.

We are committed to supporting businesses in the Visitor Economy sector. Our goal is to return to pre-pandemic levels as quickly as possible by 2025.

We own, or have a statutory duty to, several visitor attractions and green spaces across the county.

We work with a range of strategic operating partners and groups to ensure the ongoing success of these popular visitor sites.

Sites include:

There is no denying that the Visitor Economy brings significant economic benefits to Nottinghamshire. Scarborough Tourism Economic Accommodation Model (STEAM) data (which is the industry standard for tourism data across the UK) indicated that, in 2019, 36 million visitors brought over £1.9 billion into our local economy and over 23,000 jobs were supported.

However, Covid-19 had a devastating and unprecedented impact on the sector, arguably more than any other. Consumer habits and behaviour shifted overnight and resulted in major changes to the sector leaving some businesses struggling and finding it difficult to adapt. 

This was the major reason why we decided to refresh its Visitor Economy Strategy and throughout 2022, our Visitor Economy Strategy (VES) was revised. The objective was to consider the wider visitor economy landscape and to identify how we could support the short-term recovery of the sector as a whole, whilst maintaining long-term resilience amongst the key stakeholders.

After extensive research and in-depth public and stakeholder consultation, a refreshed Visitor Economy framework 2022 (VEF) was produced. This is our blueprint for the future of the sector in the county. With reference to the Visitor Economy, it very much is a case of ‘the sum is greater than the parts’ and the sector functions at its best when all businesses and stakeholders work together, recognise the part they play within it and understand the actions they need to take to move forwards. It is our role as leader, visionary and advisor to provide the vision and ambition which is what the framework sets out to do.

Download the framework here.


There is a variety of support available for local businesses.

Visit Nottinghamshire

Visit Nottinghamshire promotes the visitor economy across both the city and county. It is a member organisation that provides advice with a Tourism Information Centre (TIC) based within in the city centre.

You can find out more about the attractions, organisations and businesses it promotes by going to their website.

The D2N2 Growth Hub

The D2N2 Growth Hub provides businesses in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire with a single point of access to business support. Their team of Growth Hub Business Advisers and dedicated telephone enquiry service have the knowledge, skills and expertise to signpost you to the right initiatives and resources to support your business growth.

Brown Tourism Signs

Information on how to apply for a Brown Tourism sign on a County Council road can be found here via the link above.

Ideas on how Rural Funding can benefit Visitor Economy Businesses

Visitor Economy businesses that are in rural areas often need to diversify and think outside the box when attracting visitors and funding.

From the latest round of LEADER rural funding administered by Nottinghamshire County Council (2014 -22), we have put together a series of case studies and ideas in order to support, encourage and inspire businesses when applying for future funding and support. Although not entirely the same, by sharing this learning, it is hoped that visitor economy businesses will be encouraged to apply through similar funding streams such as the Rural England Prosperity Fund in the future.

Our role is one of leader, enabler, facilitator, influencer, accountable body, investor, partner, supporter, collaborator and advisor. We are involved in various projects both past and present.


Accessible Tourism for disabled visitors - Who Dares Wins! - Free Training

Accessible Tourism is worth £15.3 billion to the UK economy every year. In addition, the UK is aiming to be the most accessible tourism destination in Europe by 2025.

This FREE, interactive training, hosted by Jane Cooper, Managing Director of Access & Inclusion UK, will help to ensure that Nottinghamshire County Council is able to play its part in achieving this ambition. Jane is an access and inclusion, training and business development professional with first-hand, lived experience of disability and specialist expertise in accessible and inclusive tourism.

During the workshop delegates will learn how you to better serve the needs of this market, improving visitor experiences, enabling businesses to grow and our destination to thrive.

By the end of the session, you will:

  • Know more about accessibility in the UK, the Equality Act and its relevance to you, the size of the accessible tourism market, and the value of the 'Purple Pound'.
  • Understand the barriers faced by disabled people and the solutions available to overcome them.
  • Know the importance of marketing accessibility and how to do this effectively, including creating a free, online Accessibility Guide.
  • Be able to create a Sensory Story and a Touch Tour to support visitors.
  • Have increased your confidence in providing a warm welcome for all.

This training is aimed at Visitor Economy/Tourism businesses and organisations in Nottinghamshire only.

Book now: Accessible Tourism for disabled visitors - Who Dares Wins! - Free Training Tickets, Fri 23 Jun 2023 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

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