'Best Tall Ships Festival yet will bring millions in to Gloucester'
By James Young | 24th May 2019
The biggest and best Tall Ships Festival yet is set to bring £10 million into the Gloucester economy.
Jason Smith, the chief executive of Festival organisers Marketing Gloucester, said that record advance ticket sales had been posted for the three-day Festival that kicks off tomorrow.
Speaking on BBC Radio Gloucestershire this morning, Mr Smith said: "It's shaping up to be something fantastic" as he reported on advance sales to people all over the country - and all over the planet.
He said: "They are coming from all over the world, from Australia, France, Spain, the US and Canada. A huge amount of people from all parts of the UK as well.
"All of them coming to the county, some of them staying over. But all adding money to the local economy.
"Ticket sales are double what we did last year at this point. This is without doubt going to be the best Tall Ships and Adevenutre Festival that we've had.
"What we've tried to do this year is give that excitement to the event. Turn it from a nice thing to do, to something you have to do."
The Tall Ships Festival was set up after the 2007 floods hit the city as a way of promoting the city and the startling regeneration of the Docks in the years since.
It has grown year on year since, with it now adding a multi-million pound boost to a resurgent city economy.
Mr Smith added: "It has a huge impact on the city. It was originally set up to reposition and rebrand Gloucester after the 2007 floods to give people a reason to visit.
"Over the past six years we have had a 60 per cent increase in visitor numbers and we calculate that the Tall Ships will bring in around £10million of economic activity into the city.
"There are about 180 jobs that are supported by that, in an area where we have more than 4,000 jobs supported by tourism.
"We are looking at a city that is having a renaissance. Nobody is saying 'poor old Gloucester' any more, they are looking at a city that is on the up.
"Occasionally cities get their time. It happened with Liverpool and Glasgow and now it's Gloucester's time.
"We're seeing King's Quarter next, with the Cathedral regeneration it's going to become an even better place to live and visit."
The Docks is currently a hive of activity following the arrival of four of the Tall Ships on Thursday in preparation for the start of Festivities on Saturday. The Festival runs through to Bank Holiday Monday.
For more information on the programme of events or to buy advance tickets visit www.gloucestertallships.co.uk
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