Our £10m tourism boost
Tourism bosses are hoping to keep cashing in on the "staycation" trend and make Lincolnshire a Mecca for holidaymakers.
Startling new figures have revealed more than 400,000 extra visitors in 2012 helped to swell the county's coffers by £10 million.
Spending rose one per cent to £1.115 billion from 2011 as tourist numbers increased two per cent to 17.4 million.
Most tourists are daytrippers and there is a push to get people to spend longer in Lincolnshire than the average 1.9 days in hotels and B&Bs.
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The rolling Wolds countryside and golden sands of East Lindsey pulled in 4,049,500 tourists in 2012, earning the district £496 million.
Lincoln's heritage attractions and conference trade saw income rise five per cent to £153 million after visitor numbers rose by 3 per cent to 3,550,100.
Emma Tatlow, Visit Lincoln Partnership Manager, hopes the city can continue to improve its reputation as perfect for a short break.
She added: "Lincoln has a strong short break offer, but it is not as well known as other comparable destinations so we need to work hard to improve that through marketing.
"The quality of the product, the welcome and the information provided are also vital elements to ensure visitors have an excellent experience once here, and to see that they return.
"Generally, people are taking more holidays at home, and more day visits.
"This is an opportunity we are working with, to get those people who love holidaying in England to choose Lincoln."
Lincolnshire's tourism industry employed 17,796 people in 2012, up 3 per cent on the previous year.
And the county holds the regional record of tourists spending an average of 6.4 days self-catering in caravans, chalets, cottages or camping.
Colin Davie, Lincolnshire County Council's executive member for tourism, said the £19.9 million Lincoln Castle Revealed project opening in 2015 could contribute between £35 million and £50 million a year.
"I am extremely optimistic about the future and see real potential to establish our county, with its amazing beaches, wonderful heritage and fantastic countryside, as a Mecca for tourism and investment for many decades ahead," he said.
David James, managing director of Global Tourism Solutions (UK) Ltd, which produced the data published by Lincolnshire Research Observatory, said: "The nature of tourism in East Lindsey is far more seasonal than Lincoln, but East Lindsey is increasing its year-round offer, in common with other seaside destinations.
"Lincolnshire has done well because, put simply, if you offer the customer quality, they will buy."
Stephen Smith, who runs Orchard Guest House, in Lincoln, says better Sunday train services and wider choice of attractions would help tourism in the city.
"Most of my business is repeat business so I suppose I must be doing something right," he said.
"Having worked in hospitality since leaving school I know how important it is to make the right first impression and make people feel welcome."