UK tourism industry grows £18.5bn in two years


The UK’s tourism industry has grown £18.5bn during the past two years, according to a new publication by the Tourism Alliance. The growth rate of 14.5% brings the total expenditure by tourists in the UK to £149.5bn.

Revenue from tourists generates employment for 3.3 million people in industry-related businesses in the UK and contributes £20bn a year to the Exchequer in air passenger duty and VAT. The publication shows a full-time job in the industry is created for every additional £58,000 visitors spend.

Kate Nicholls, Tourism Alliance chairman and UKHospitality chief executive, said, “This 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, Nicholls cautioned more must be done to make sure the UK tourism industry remained competitive in the global market in the wake of Brexit. The World Economic Forum ranks the UK 135th out of 136 countries on price competitiveness due to high levels of taxation.

She said, “We need to reduce the level of taxation visitors to the UK face, 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 we become the destination of choice for international tourists.”

She added, “We also need to make sure 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 support climate change.” The Tourism Alliance consists of 55 trade associations representing more than 200,000 businesses.

Category: Editors' Picks, News
Tags: UK tourism industry