UK Tourism Industry Grows by £18.5bn in Two Years

A new tourism statistic publication produced by the Tourism Alliance shows that the UK tourism industry has grown by £18.5bn over the last two years. This is a growth rate of 14.5% brings the total expenditure by tourists in the UK to £149.5bn, making tourism one of the UK’s largest and most successful industries.

Revenue from tourists in the UK generates employment for 3.3m people in tourism-related businesses, making the tourism one of the UK’s biggest industries.

Kate Nicholls, the Tourism Alliance Chairman and CEO of UKHospitality welcomed the new report. “This new publication shows the ongoing strength of the UK tourism industry and its ability to provide employment and growth for local economies throughout the UK. It also shows the wisdom of the Government’s recent decision to back the tourism industry through a Sector Deal”

However, she cautioned that, as the UK was pivoting away from Europe as a result of Brexit, more had to be done to make sure that the UK tourism industry remained competitive in the global market.

We need to reduce the level of taxation faced by visitors coming to the UK, ensure we have an immigration system that provides UK tourism businesses with access to employees with the skills needed to provide world class service and revise our visa offering so that we become the destination of choice for international tourists.

The benefits of doing this are highlighted in the new publication which shows tourists directly contribute £20bn per annum to the Exchequer in Air Passenger Duty and VAT on purchases made while in the country, and that a new full time job in the industry is created for every additional £58,000 that visitors spend.

Kate added, “As well as ensuring our international competitiveness, we need to make sure that tourism is more sustainable. Some of the £20bn tax revenue generated by the industry needs to be recycled into initiatives that maintain the natural and historic resources on which the industry is based and encourage investment in new transport technologies that that support climate change”.