Tourists spent £114bn in UK in 2008, says ONS

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: England, United kingdom, Uk

Tourists spent £114bn in UK in 2008, says ONS
Domestic and foreign tourists spent a total of £114bn in the UK in 2008, with more money forked out on food than on hotels, according to a new set of experimental data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The data from the UK Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), aims to show how tourism contributes to the UK’s economy, although the nature of data collection and analysis means the latest figures available date back to 2008.

Total spend for that year includes £97.3bn spent by UK residents and £16.3bn spent by overseas visitors. As well as hotel, travel and food spend, the figures also include money spent on the upkeep of holiday homes, money spent by Britons on air fares before travelling abroad, and money spent by tourists purchasing commercial products.

Restaurant and hotel spend

Domestic tourists spent a total of £19.3bn on food and beverages in 2008, followed by £6.9bn on hotels or other accommodation.

Foreign tourists spent £4.7bn on hotels and £2.8bn on food and drink.

The biggest slice of total spend for both domestic and foreign tourists was ‘other consumption products’, accounting for £33bn and £7.3bn respectively.

Tourism jobs

The TSA also includes estimates of tourism employment for the UK, and shows that there are just over 1.7m jobs directly supported by tourism expenditure.

An ONS spokesperson told BigHospitality that this data remains experimental while the methodology is still confirmed and completed.

ONS said this updated Tourism Satellite Account is “an important piece” of work for its Tourism Intelligence Unit, which was set up in 2008, as it allows the agency to separate expenditure of UK residents from tourists, which are taken together in the main National Accounts.

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