Tourism and the visitor economy

The UK visitor economy will directly contribute 4.1% of UK GDP in 2020. In 2014, visits to the natural environment resulted in an estimated spend of £17 billion (Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment, 2014).

The Greater Thames Marshes NIA includes a number of innovative and award-winning visitor sites, such as RSPB’s Rainham Marshes, which was awarded the 2014 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence; the fabulous viewing platform at Essex Wildlife Trust’s Thurrock Thameside nature park, and Elmley National Nature Reserve, which has recently installed shepherd hut accommodation on-site, allowing visitors the opportunity to “wake up to wilderness”.