Volume and value

We embark on an annual collation of regular data providing comparable annual performance, which can be benchmarked against regional competitors. STEAM is a tourism economic impact modelling process which enables us to measure tourism using local data, tourism performance and visitor survey data. The results allow us to monitor the impact of tourism across Northumberland.

The research that we gain from the report allows us to establish the impact of our activity and helps us to develop and grow.

Headline figures for key metrics for 2023 are as follows:

Visitor expenditure

In 2023, the Northumberland visitor economy recorded the highest ever gross value of £1.262billion, an increase of 7.9% over 2022. Total spend is 20.5% higher than pre-pandemic levels, although visitor numbers remain 5.3% lower. While this represents the highest ever annual value, economic impact remains 5.4% behind pre-pandemic levels when indexed to take inflation into account.


The volume of visitors in 2023 increased by 1.4% to 10.12m, topping the 10 million mark last seen before the pandemic. .

Day visitors account for 82% (8.261m) of total visits, 35% (£445m) of all economic impact and 52% of all visitor days. This represents an increase of 2.7% since 2022 although remains 5.7% down from 2019 numbers (an improvement from 8.1% deficit in 2022).

Staying guests account for 18% (1.855m) of total visits, 65% (£817m) of all economic impact and 48% (7.659million) of all visitor days. This represents a shrinkage of 3.7% since 2022. However, the direct economic value has increased by 3.78%.

Visitors spent 15.92m days in Northumberland in 2023, 2.7% lower than 2022.


The average spend per visit for overnight visitors is £327.98, an increase of 8.2% (up from £303.18 in 2022) and 26% higher than the pre-COVID 2019 figure of £260.51.

The average day visitor spent £39.96, an increase of 13.4% (up from £32.76 in 2022). Day visit numbers and spend remain in the region of 5.7% lower than 2019.

Food and drink is the biggest contributor to direct economic impact (48.2% from £425m in expenditure).


11,939 people are directly employed in the sector. Total employment which takes into account jobs in the supply chain totals14,655. This represents an increase of over 1,500 jobs compared to the 13,076 roles supported in 2019.

Food and drink is the biggest employment sector with the 4,895 roles correlating to 41.8% of all direct employment (up from 39.9% in 2022).