Tourism is on the up in Oxfordshire

Cllr Richard Langridge
Cllr Richard Langridge

Visits to a website which promotes West Oxfordshire as a must-see tourist destination doubled in the last year.

The site was revamped six months ago, and latest annual figures show a significant increase in users.

There were 370,393 visits made to the site during 2014, almost double that of 187,918 in 2013.

The tourism team at West Oxfordshire District Council says the increase is thanks not only to the website improvements, but factors including a rising interest in the district due to the ITV television series Downton Abbey and a growth in social media attracting people to the website.

Councillor Richard Langridge, cabinet member responsible tourism at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “The huge rise in visits to the website in 2014, coupled with another impressive increase in tourism spending, is absolutely fantastic news for West Oxfordshire.

“As well as drawing in website visits from overseas including as far afield as China, which is a growing market for the UK with great potential, the statistics show the highest number of visits were from within the UK and the improvements to the website are key to this audience as they include things like a better ‘What’s on’ section and free downloadable walks in the area.”

The website is run by the district council as part of its work to promote the area under the banner of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds and support the local tourism industry.

The increase in visitors follows recent confirmation that tourism continues to grow in the district with latest figures showing a 2.1 per cent annual rise in spending in the sector, making it worth an estimated £273.8 million to the local economy.

In addition to the website, the council also runs social media accounts on Twitter @OxCots and Facebook and Pinterest.

A visitor guide and other specialist publications are produced both digitally and in print to promote local areas, towns and villages.

An example of a recent very popular leaflet and tour package, arranged and produced by the council, features Downton Abbey and local film locations.

This page attracted 10,000 visits in September and October 2014.