Last year saw Sunderland host a range of prestigious events, from the thrilling Sunderland Airshow to the majestic Tall Ships Races.

This led to a boom in both visitor numbers and visitor spend, as well as more jobs being created in the city’s tourism sector.

The latest statistics obtained by Sunderland City Council show that in 2018:

  • 9.18 Million people visited Sunderland, an increase of 4.7% upon the 2017 figures
  • The visitors spent £474.83 million, 6.5% more than in the previous year
  • 5,711 jobs depended on tourism, up 7.6% on 2017

The above figures include visitors who stayed overnight in hotels, those who visited attractions and attended events in Sunderland, and away fans attending matches at the Stadium of Light. The retail spend of these visitors was also included in the figures.

The large-scale events held in Sunderland in 2018 included:

  • The Tall Ships Races 2018
  • The Sunderland International Airshow
  • Sunderland Illuminations
  • Wicked and Miss Saigon at the Empire Theatre
  • Christmas lights switch-on and ice-rink

Cllr Graeme Miller, the leader of Sunderland City Council, said, “I am delighted to see the continued growth in tourism figures for Sunderland.”

“It is also encouraging that as the number of people visiting our city increases, the economic impact of their visits continues to rise. This all helps to confirm that tourism is a consistently growing sector and a crucial part of our economy.”

“These figures demonstrate how our wide variety of visitor attractions, including our fantastic seafront and award-winning parks, historic buildings, museums, theatres and world-class events can bring positive cultural and economic change to our region.”

“We were so proud to be the start port of The Tall Ships Races 2018, a magnificent event for the city which will live long in the memories of all those who visited. The visitor numbers were fantastic and they are reflected in these results.”

“We continue to develop our events programme every year and there are a number of other exciting developments in the city which will continue to attract new visitors.”

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