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The South Downs National Park reports that tourism is growing. However, over three quarters of the reported 46 million visits in 2012/2013 to the Park were day visits, which in part is thought to reflect a shortage of overnight accommodation. The Ouse Valley hosts one of the five Youth Hostels in the Park, enhancing its tourist appeal. Swanborough Lakes Holiday lodges have opened close to the villages of Swanborough and Iford, with a number of bed and breakfast accommodation available along the valley supplemented with informal ‘Air BnB’ accommodation.
Tourism can strengthen existing businesses as well as creating new ventures. Already local businesses have seen an increase in their trade as a consequence of people using the completed sections of path. For Lewes and Newhaven, the increased numbers of tourists will present a welcome opportunity to invest in supporting services such as food, recreation and accommodation. For Newhaven in particular, the Egrets Way provides a chance to attract new and sustained sources of investment, creating opportunities that can be linked to the ‘Gateway’ to the National Park which Newhaven offers as a channel port.