CHESHIRE East Council (CEC) announced that the authority’s visitor economy is now worth £608 million to the local area.

The latest data, relating to 2011, shows visitor numbers increased to around 12 million, and that tourists are spending five per cent more than the preceding year.

Clr Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity and economic regeneration, said: “These figures are excellent news and they show that the importance the council has placed on the visitor economy is starting to pay dividends.”

The data was compiled using the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM) - a nationally-recognised benchmark that uses a range of sources including hotel occupancy rates, room rates, surveys and footfall figures.

Clr Macrae added: “With beautiful countryside, charming market towns and a rich heritage, Cheshire East has a lot to offer tourists, and we will continue in our efforts to market the borough as a visitor destination.”