Services Projects 29 Insights 46 Podcasts 17
Careers About
Services Projects 29 Insights 46 Podcasts 17 Careers About
Greater Cambridge: Maximising the Value of the Visitor Economy
Cambridge City Council working in partnership with South Cambridgeshire District Council and Visit Cambridge partners: Cambridge BID, King's College and Curating Cambridge
min read
May 16 ― 2024
Marta Mills
Senior Project Manager | Sustainable Tourism
We are delighted to have been appointed to develop the Greater Cambridge Destination Management Plan (DMP). This multi-stakeholder plan will provide the strategic roadmap for the sustainable development, delivery and management of the visitor economy in this historic city and area in England, UK.

‘Home to more Nobel Prize winners than any other city, Cambridge is brimming with learning, culture and discoveries.’ Famously steeped in history and heritage, Cambridge is proudly also one of the UK’s fastest growing cities, with an international reputation for education, science and innovation. 

Cambridge has long held strong tourist appeal, attracting visitors from all over the world with more than half (51%) of overnight visitors arriving from international markets in 2019 – a share almost twice the national average in England, and second only to London. The city has also recovered strongly following the pandemic, attracting 8.2 Million trips in 2022 and is widely expected to have exceeded 2019 levels when data is released for 2023.

Accounting for more than 20% of employment in the city, the visitor economy is also an important vehicle for economic development and prosperity in Cambridge. However, with the city’s key attractions being working academic institutions and a significant level of day trip visitors (approx. 90%) with low dwell time and seasonality challenges, there is now a need for cohesive destination management - to ensure that the visitor economy continues to positively contribute to the city whilst also maximising its vital role as a tourism gateway for the Greater Cambridge area.  

We will evaluate current tourism performance and its economic, social and environmental impacts of the visitor economy on the residents, visitors, and local businesses through research and consultation with a variety of stakeholders in Cambridge & South Cambridgeshire. This will help us identify and evaluate key strengths and opportunities for a more strategic, joined-up and sustainable development of the visitor economy. We will create an ambitious vision, mission and actions that will inspire and motivate visitor economy stakeholders, providing clear direction and guidance for Greater Cambridge going forward.


-In-depth Desk Research: In-depth Destination Analysis, including tourism performance evaluation, market and policy context, trends analysis

-Stakeholder Consultations: focus groups and interviews with key decision makers, industry representatives, community groups and NGOs 

-Online surveys: resident and Visitor Economy Sector surveys

-Benchmarking analysis: learning from destinations in a similar context 

-DMP Development: validated by the project Steering Group and Key Stakeholders

Next on Insights
Chris Armstrong
Redefining Success: How DMOs can Drive Social & Community Well-Being