Christmas Market injected as much as £2.9m into local economy

A photo of some of the chalets and visitors from the St Albans Christmas market, held in the Vintry

A photo of some of the chalets and visitors from the St Albans Christmas market, held in the Vintry Garden. - Credit: Archant

St Albans Christmas Market injected as much as £2.9m into the local economy, the district council has claimed.

However more conservative estimates put the figure at £1m, based on University of Hertfordshire surveys of 54 people out of 100,000 visitors to the market.

The University found 47 per cent of visitors had gone to St Albans specifically for the market.

Of those extra visitors, 59 per cent spent an average of £33.77 outside of the market meaning businesses benefited from an additional £955,150 during the four weeks the market was on.

Under the Cambridge Economic Impact Model, which is based on national averages and includes visitors from outside and inside the district and people staying at hotels overnight, the benefit is estimated to be around £2.9m.

The council’s portfolio holder for business Beric Read said: “The Christmas Market is a key component of our visitor economy strategy. It attracts people who make use of all the other attractions available in the city centre.

“The study by the University of Hertfordshire shows this is very much the case with the market attracting some 50,000 extra visitors.

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“Whether the figure for additional income is £1 million, nearly £3 million or something in between, there’s no doubt the market gives a significant boost to businesses elsewhere in the city centre.

“This is money that would not be otherwise spent in our shops and restaurants and it helps grow the local economy.”

• This article has been amended on Friday, March 9 to include the number of people who were surveyed about the market.

• The University has also said 54 people were studied as this was the maxium amount the students who conducted the survey could speak to in the assigned five days.

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