The Wish You Were Here report by VisitBritain and UK Music, out today, has found that 6.5 million music-loving tourists attended a festival or gig last year, generating spend of £2.2 billion in the process.
While the majority of money spent by music tourists (£1.3bn), who make up 41 per cent of the average live music audience, goes on tickets, transport and accommodation, additional spending along the way generates an extra £914m for the economy.
Music tourists from overseas also spend higher than the average tourist spend of £600, with those attending music festivals spending an average of £910 while those attending concerts spend £602.
In addition to calling for an overarching strategy to encourage more music fans from overseas, VisitBritain and UK Music believe that many towns and cities could take advantage of interest in music by promoting their musical heritage within their own marketing campaigns, much like Liverpool does with its connection with The Beatles.
VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: “This report confirms that the UK’s music scene has significant international appeal and that music tourists spend lots of money and travel across the whole of Britain. This will act as a catalyst for us all to ramp up our activity and forge better relationships with festival organisers, promoters, venues and producers to raise awareness of our amazing music scene across the world.”
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said when combined, the music and tourism industries were 'powerful drivers for growth'
“Music is without question an essential element of Britain’s tourism appeal, and it is this ability of the UK’s music industry to attract tourists from near and far to our shores that is celebrated in this report," he said.
While music is a powerful draw for tourists, it can also influence purchasing decisions, according to research by music licensing company PPL.
A survey of 300 people in Scotland found that 60 per cent would spend more time in restaurants, bars, clubs and shops that played music while all of those who go out more than twice a week said they were prepared to pay more and stay longer at a venue if it played music.&
Those surveyed who were under 44 were most likely to be influenced by music with the under 24s influenced most heavily.
Laura Ferguson, business relationship executive, PPL said: “Venue owners cannot afford to ignore the fact that the public want to hear music when they are out.
“Our research found that music is often a key consideration for Scots when planning a night out, so businesses should be thinking about how to turn the consumers’ love for music into a boost for their bottom line."