Chatsworth exhibition in New York could boost number of U.S. tourists coming to Peak District

There could soon be a rise in American visitors to the Peak District on our doorstep, thanks to the launch of a prestigious exhibition.

Thursday, 16th May 2019, 12:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 3:29 pm
The Painted Hall at Chatsworth. Credit to Chatsworth House Trust.

A of art and objects from Chatsworth will go on show at Sotheby’s in New York, offering people living there a rare chance to view the legendary Devonshire Collection in the USA.

It is hoped that after seeing the collection, people may decide to travel to the UK to visit the historic tourist attraction of Chatsworth for themselves.

Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board, said the exhibition, which runs from June 28 to September 18, will help to raise awareness of the area’s rich cultural heritage - from stately homes such as Chatsworth, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, to sites of worldwide historical importance, such as the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

Jo Dilley, managing director of Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, said: “Promoting the Peak District and Derbyshire on a global scale is at the heart of our work, so it is fantastic news that items from Chatsworth’s prestigious Devonshire Collection will be exhibited in New York this summer.

“Boosting visitor numbers and increasing visitor spend is paramount in ensuring that the local economy can reap the benefits of tourism, and the Treasures from Chatsworth exhibition will serve as a great international showcase for the area’s rich cultural heritage.

“Chatsworth is one of the UK’s leading stately homes and we hope the exhibition will inspire more US visitors to add Chatsworth, and the wider Peak District and Derbyshire area, to their must-visit list.”

The exhibition, called Treasures from Chatsworth, will feature over 40 masterworks including fine art, decorative objects, furniture, jewellery, clothing and archival materials from the Devonshire Collection, which is widely celebrated as one of the most significant art collections in Europe.

All objects have been accumulated over 500 years by the Cavendish family, and held at Chatsworth.

Research from VisitBritain shows that the UK’s culture and heritage is a huge draw for overseas visitors, with more than £8 billion spent annually by international tourists who visit castles/historic houses in the UK, based on 2016 figures.

The US is the UK’s most valuable inbound visitor market for tourism spend, with US visitors spending a record £3.6 billion across the UK in 2017, up nine per cent on the previous year.

Visits from the US grew 13 per cent to 3.9 million in the same period.

Derbyshire County Council leader and cabinet member for strategic leadership, culture and tourism, Councillor Barry Lewis, said: “Promoting Derbyshire as a global cultural and tourist destination is one of our top priorities.

“Chatsworth is one of the jewels in Derbyshire’s crown, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to our county each year.

“We’re thrilled to hear some of the estate’s treasures will be showcased in New York and hope it will whet the appetite of American tourists who will be encouraged to visit Derbyshire and see all our beautiful county has to offer for themselves.”

Gavin Landry, VisitBritain Director of the Americas, said: “It is great to have this exhibition come to the US and shine a spotlight on the cultural draw of the Peak District and Derbyshire, inspiring Americans to travel to Britain.

“Our research shows that many US visitors are motivated to travel to Britain due to our history and heritage and this exhibition is sure to get more Americans to experience the delights of Chatsworth and the surrounding area and extend their stay.”