Tourism is worth £148million a year to Hartlepool’s economy, according to latest figures.
The value of out of town visitors has increased by about £5million compared to the previous available data.
Figures from the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM) showed that 3.2 million visitors paid a trip to Hartlepool in 2014, a 1% increase on the previous year.
The figures were welcomed by members of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Committee.
And they are confident the arrival of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) will attract even more people to the town.
Antony Steinberg, the council’s economic regeneration manager, said latest figures showed the museum and quay had 114,000 visitors a year with 45,000 paying visitors.
I think you will see things really start to take off over the next few monthsAntony Steinberg
Mr Steinberg said: “That can certainly double but I think there are aspirations to see that treble over the next five years.”
Large new NMRN branded signs have recently been added to the entrances to the attraction off Marina Way.
Mr Steinberg added: “I think you will see things really start to take off over the next few months. We are expecting a significant increase in international visitors based on the museum’s world renowned branding.”
Sarah Dennis, director of resources at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, said they have had great feedback in their first five months.
She said: “From the family fun day, when we welcomed thousands of visitors to celebrate the handover to our ever-popular Spoo-Quay event last month, we have also added to the daily events and activity.
“Additional marketing spend has been earmarked to target the region and attention paid to the venue hire offer – so we can host more weddings and corporate events.
“We continue to work with Hartlepool Borough Council to look at development opportunities for the site.”
According to the STEAM data, Hartlepool had 2.8 million day visitors in 2014, up 1% on 2013, who spent £94 million. Tourism employs 1,474 directly and 2,020 overall.
And there were 431,000 overnight visitors with expenditure levels of £54.6 million.
The council recently received an email from two visitors from York praising Hartlepool and recommending people visit.