A date for your Christmas diary!

Only seems like yesterday since those colourful festive ‘sheds’ shut up shop but dates for this year’s Bath Christmas Market have been announced – alongside official visitor figures for the 2022 event – which boosted the local economy by an estimated £50 million.

This year’s Market will open on Thursday November 23 and run for 18 days closing on Sunday December 10 with applications for stall holders opening mid-April.

Details from an independent survey carried out by The South West Research company, revealed the 2022 market attracted an estimated 426,000 visitors over the 18-day event – which was up from 403,000 in 2019.

Researchers found that all associated additional spend, which occurred as a direct result of the market taking place in the city during 2022, was estimated at approximately £34.3 million, compared to £25 million in 2019, resulting in a total business turnover for Bath of approximately £50.7million – compared to £31.5million in 2019.  

Councillor Kevin Guy, council leader, said: “I am delighted to announce the dates for  2023 and even more so given the success of last year’s Christmas Market. Independent market research carried out during last year’s event shows a staggering economic benefit to the city. The 18-day event attracted almost half a million people, the majority of which were first-time visitors.  

“Despite issues like the rail strike, the weather and the economic climate Bath Christmas Market was not only hugely popular with visitors it also received praise from traders and local businesses. We are now well under way with planning for this year’s event and I want to thank everyone who was involved and helped make it a success.”

More than 900 people were questioned in the survey which revealed the proportion of visitors to the market, who stayed in the city as part of their trip increased during 2022, along with the amount they spent on their accommodation during their stay compared with 2019. The majority of staying visitors said they would consider returning for another short break at another time of the year.

More than 200 traders and 36 charities took part in the market. Zoe from Zoe Rose Art said: “As a local artist, having the opportunity to trade at Bath Christmas Market was a bucket list moment and the experience did not disappoint. The organisation, planning and support of the events team were second to none, every detail was thoroughly planned and executed.”

Bath & North East Somerset Council took over the running of the event in 2020 and made a number of changes to the 20th anniversary event.

The layout of the 178 chalets selling seasonal gifts, food and drink was altered to reduce overcrowding in areas of high footfall, and for the first time, the new Christmas Carts were introduced to enable more micro-businesses to sell their wares at a reduced rate.

Feedback from both visitors and stallholders has been overwhelmingly positive, with 95% of stallholders reporting a successful market and 95% of visitors saying they’d now consider returning to Bath at another point in the year.

Data from an independent survey of visitors to the market commissioned by the council reveals almost half come every year. In addition:

  • 75% who visited Bath over the period came solely because of the Christmas market.
  • 37% stayed for an average of 2.4 nights.
  • 74% shopped outside the market.
  • 79% ate a meal in a local restaurant.
  • 48% came on foot or used public transport.

Bath Christmas Market has been shortlisted for Best Event at the Bath Life Awards. The winner will be announced on 23 March.

More information for stall holders for the 2023 market will be added to the Christmas Market website in the coming weeks and those wishing to apply can sign up to the mailing list here https://bathchristmasmarket.co.uk/