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Astronomy: Tourism

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL1436, tabled on 25 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the economic benefits, if any, of astro-tourism in places awarded International Dark Sky Reserve status.

Answered on

2 July 2021

The Government has not made any specific assessment of the economic benefits of astro-tourism in places awarded International Dark Sky Reserve status.

Across the UK's 15 National Parks there are a number of locations that have been awarded International Dark Sky Reserve or Dark Sky Discovery Site status. In 2017, VisitEngland published a Discover England Fund Research Summary Report titled ‘Making Great memories in England’s National Parks and countryside’. While it did not specifically mention dark sky reserves, this report highlighted some of the key trends in visitor trips to National Parks in England.

Across the UK's 15 National Parks there are a number of locations that have been awarded International Dark Sky Reserve or Dark Sky Discovery Site status. The Government has no formal role in the Dark Sky designation process as it is non-governmental and non-statutory.

The Independent Review of Landscapes recommended, ‘A night under the stars in a national landscape for every child.’ The Government has welcomed the Review and will respond in due course. We are committed to increasing opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy the benefits of spending meaningful time in our national landscapes in England.