Tourism generated £142.9million in Hartlepool in just 12 months, new figures have revealed.
Almost 140 new jobs in tourism were created in the town between 2009 and 2013, according to the latest figures.
Figures from the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM) show that tourism generated £142.9million in Hartlepool in 2013 – 21% more than 2009.
It saw Hartlepool enjoy a £24million boost in tourism revenue.
The increase in revenue generated the equivalent of 138 full-time jobs in tourism-related sectors – including hotels, restaurants and recreation.
According to the STEAM figures, Hartlepool received 3.2 million visitors in 2013 and the tourism industry accounted for 2,021 jobs for local people.
People feel better when it is warmer. There is something magical about the sunshine and it makes people get out and about and spend morePam Hargreaves, chairman of the Hartlepool branch of the Federation of Small Businesses
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “I am delighted people are viewing Hartlepool as the culturally rich town that it is.
“The town has many great assets, including Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience and the marina, and I believe the Hartlepool Vision is already helping to regenerate the wider area.”
The Hartlepool Vision, which was launched in January 2014, aims to revitalise key areas of the town and lay the foundations for the town’s future prosperity.
The Hartlepool Vision includes eight key sites. They are the town centre, Jacksons Landing/Trincomalee Wharf and the marina, Church Street, Seaton Carew, the Headland, Wynyard, the Port and Queens Meadow.
Coun Akers-Belcher added: “Since launching the Hartlepool Vision we’ve received fantastic support from residents, businesses and many influential regeneration players.
“Our aim is to create major new retail and leisure facilities, produce much -needed job opportunities for the town and further increase the town’s profile as a visitor destination.”
Officers at Hartlepool Borough Council are currently preparing a report analysing the volume and value of the town’s tourism in 2014.
It comes as Hartlepool is basking in the summer warmth – and sunseekers are taking every chance they can to enjoy it.
Pam Hargreaves, chairwoman of the Hartlepool branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, expected an upturn in trading figures.
She said: “People feel better when it is warmer. There is something magical about the sunshine and it makes people get out and about and spend more.
“It cheers them up and puts them in a good mood.”
Temperatures climbed in the town yesterday and were expected to continue rising into the 70s today – with even more sunshine prospects being predicted by weathermen over the next few weeks.