Cornwall is a historic and ceremonial county in the southwestern part of England. Recognised as one of the Celtic nations, it is the homeland of the Cornish people.
Cornwall is renowned for its coastal and geographical scenery. The scenic beaches, cliffs, and gardens have made it one of the most popular tourist spots in England. Actually, tourism is where Cornwall has based all its hopes of economic improvement.
Cornwall is actually one of the poorest counties in the United Kingdom, with its GVA per head being 64% of the UK average in 2004. At the same time, parts of the county have high housing prices due to the rise in demand by wealthy retired people and second-house owners.
What are the main industries of Cornwall?
Cornwall’s economy consists of two major industries: agriculture and tourism. The tourist industry is actually responsible for around 20% of jobs in the county. Fishing is another important industry in Cornwall.
What Is Cornwall’s Source Of Income?
Before, the primary sources of income for the people of Cornwall were mining, fishing, and farming. But now, the economy of Cornwall is heavily dependent on tourists. This is mostly because of the natural beauty and terrain of Cornwall.
Tourism supports about one in five jobs and is also projected to grow at 3.8% per year up till 2025.
So, before we get into much money Cornwall earns from tourists, let’s talk about why Cornwall is popular with tourists.
Why Is Cornwall Popular With Tourists?
Even though Cornwall is somewhat far from the United Kingdom’s major centres of population, it has still emerged to be a popular destination for tourists. Social media travellers and vloggers have popularised the natural beauty of Cornwall, leading to a rise in the number of tourists visiting the county.
Since it is surrounded by the English Channel and the Celtic Sea on three sides, Cornwall has been blessed with several mesmerising miles of beaches and cliffs. The moorlands, the wooded valleys, and the country gardens offer spectacular picturesque landscapes to the millions of tourists who visit the county every year.
Other than the museums, historic sites, and prehistoric sites, Newquay and Porthtowan have emerged as popular destinations for surfers. In October of 2021, Cornwall was longlisted for the UK City of Culture 2025 but failed to make it to the final March list.
Festivals And Food In Cornwall
Other than the above-mentioned tourist favourites, Cornwall also thrives on its colourful and festival-filled calendar. Anyone can catch a festival dedicated to something or the other while visiting Cornwall.
Even more, Cornwall is filled to the brim with Michelin-star restaurants and a variety of Cornish delicacies like the Yarg cheese, meat-stuffed pasties, locally brewed ales, and Cornish cream teas with clotted cream.
Top Tourist Attractions In Cornwall
Tourists are also known as ‘emmet’ in Cornwall, which is a word in the Cornish dialect of English, meaning tourists or vacationers. Here are some of the best tourist attractions in Cornwall that you should definitely include in your bucket list:
- Trebah garden
- Cornish seal sanctuary
- Lost Gardens of Heligan
- Saint Michael’s Mount
How much does tourism contribute to the Cornwall economy?
Tourism contributes to about 24% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of Cornwall. The tourist industry brought about £1.85 billion to Cornwall in 2011. Every year, around 4.5 million tourists visit Cornwall. That’s nearly 10 times the Duchy’s resident population!
For a more crazy fact, about 200,000 tourists visited Cornwall in 2010, while the number of native residents of Cornwall was around 500,000. That means about half of the population of Cornwall at that time was just tourists.
Much of the money spent on tourism in Cornwall contributes to the preservation of Cornwall’s manmade and natural attractions.
What Is The Most Visited Place In Cornwall?
The most visited place in Cornwall is actually the Eden Project, with the iconic attraction receiving about 1 million visitors in 2018! Filled with the natural beauty of wildlife and greenery, all the plants and wildlife are housed in hexagonal-shaped domes called ‘biomes.’
Sustainable Tourism In Cornwall
Actually, the Eden Project is one of the best examples of a sustainable tourist attraction. A geothermal energy plant, an ethical gift shop, and recycled rainwater are one of the few ways this place utilises sustainability. This helps the negative environmental connotations associated with travelling.
All the different sustainable schemes help in protecting the AONBs of Cornwall, which stands for the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The local communities also encourage cycling instead of driving to reduce pollution levels.
How increased tourism has affected Cornwall
Due to a lot of social media coverage and digital marketing done by travel companies, Cornwall has seen an uprise in the number of tourists visiting the county every year. In the summer of 2018, Cornwall received about 20% more visitors than the usual annual figure of 4.5 million.
This has led to multiple traffic and safety issues for the people of Cornwall.
What are the challenges faced by the tourism industry in Cornwall?
Even though the tourism industry is expected to see a lot of growth in the future, it is still facing quite a number of challenges:
- Reducing pool of labour
- Low productivity
- Lack of skilled labour
How much money does England make from tourism?
Talking about England as a whole, tourism has proved to be an important part of the English economy. Tourism generates around £100.8 billion a year for the whole of England, providing employment to over 2 million people and supporting thousands of businesses.
Thus, Cornwall has proved to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in England despite its poor GVA and housing conditions. Hopefully, the growth and success of the tourism industry will only help the county in its economic and social development.
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