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As the tourism season gears up again English Tourism Week (10 to 18 March) celebrates benefits the tourism industry brings across the country.
Tourism in Hadrian's Wall Country brings around £290 million a year into the Cumbrian economy from 1.4 million visitors who stay here.
Occupancy levels for accommodation across Hadrian's Wall Country have grown 21% since 2008 – faster than elsewhere in Cumbria, including the Lake District, or anywhere in the north east.
And the Hadrian's Wall Country website www.hadrians-wall.org now attracts 750,000 unique visitors a year, showing strong year on year growth.
Carlisle MP John Stevenson said: “English Tourism Week is a time to celebrate the wealth of tourist attractions which we have in Carlisle. It's also important to encourage investment in the sector, providing more opportunities for start up businesses and job creation.
"In Hadrian's Wall Country there is excellent new interpretation of the Roman Frontier at Tullie House's Roman Gallery and new exhibitions at Housesteads Roman Fort and Carlisle Castle. These pave the way for a new generation of high quality attractions.
"Hadrian's Wall Country Bus - the AD122 – has links with other bus and train services including the Hadrian's Wall Country line. These take cycles and wheelchairs, and allow people to travel right across Hadrian’s Wall coast to coast.
"Hadrian's Wall Country is a must-see destination for both international and UK visitors and I would encourage tourists and locals to visit sites such as Hadrian's Wall which encompasses the wealth of history which is so prevalent in Carlisle and the surrounding areas."
Linda Tuttiett, chief executive of Hadrian's Wall Heritage said: "We know that with further investment the Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site offers the potential to deliver an additional £112 million into the Cumbrian economy and provide over 2000 new jobs by 2029.
"International visitors account for 20% of visitors to Hadrian's Wall, one of the highest percentages of international visitors anywhere in the north of England.
"Heritage is a key driver of visits to Britain. The strongest markets for Hadrian's Wall Country are the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Australia. These are some of Britain's biggest international markets and have the potential to deliver much greater visitor numbers and revenue to Hadrian’s Wall Country."
Carlisle Castle and Housesteads Roman Fort are English Heritage properties, two of a number of sites looked after by the organisation across Hadrian's Wall Country.
Liz Page, Historic Properties Director for the North of England at English Heritage, said: "English Heritage looks after some of the most important sites on Hadrian's Wall. English Heritage has just invested in two great new exhibitions at Carlisle Castle and Housesteads Roman Fort. These exhibitions will open next month and will give tourists two more reasons to visit Hadrian's Wall."
Hadrian's Wall Country extends from Ravenglass north to Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport to Bowness-on-Solway and 10 miles either side of Hadrian's Wall through Carlisle and Hexham to Newcastle, Wallsend and South Shields.
The Hadrian's Wall Country Bus service AD122 begins again on Good Friday 6 April through to Sunday 28 October. It is operated by Alba Travel and Classic Coaches.
Hadrian's Wall Heritage coordinates the service on behalf of partners in the Hadrian's Wall Bus Partnership - Northumberland County Council, Cumbria County Council, Northumberland National Park Authority, English Heritage, National Trust, Carlisle City Council and the Solway Coast AONB - and will oversee the service throughout 2012.
To get your bus timetable and advance tickets, accommodation and travel guides, Hadrian's Wall Trail Map and all you need to plan your visit to Hadrian's Wall Country, visit www.hadrians-wall.org or call the Hadrian's Wall Information Line on 01434 322002.
English Tourism Week is a VisitEngland initiative. Tourism nationally is England's third largest employer, supporting 2.2 million jobs. The visitor economy is worth £97 billion a year to England supporting thousands of businesses with supplier industries including farming, transport, retailing, sport, museums and galleries, the theatre and other performing arts.