Jobs and growth: New report reveals true value of British tourism

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Tourism, Inbound tourism

Vacation nation: Inbound tourism is forecast to grow from over £21bn in 2013 to £57bn by 2025
Vacation nation: Inbound tourism is forecast to grow from over £21bn in 2013 to £57bn by 2025
Tourism has become a ‘bedrock’ of the UK economy, generating a third of the UK’s new jobs between 2010 and 2012 and escalating in value to now be worth around £127bn – 9 per cent of the UK’s GDP.

That’s according to ‘Tourism: jobs and growth’ - a new report released today by Deloitte, which underlines tourism’s central role in creating new jobs across Britain.

The report, commissioned by VisitBritain, reveals that the tourism industry now supports over three million jobs across the UK (9.6 per cent of UK employment), and recent employment growth has been ‘stellar’ – more than four times the rate of manufacturing.

“Tourism still has the ability to grow at levels that will lead other industries out of the economic slowdown,” said VisitBritain’s chairman Christopher Rodrigues. “Deloitte’s report suggests that by 2025 Britain could have an industry worth over £257 billion (56% more than in 2013 in real terms) supporting 3.8 million  jobs – across the country and at all skill levels.

“Inbound tourism is already one of Britain’s top export industries and will continue to be the fastest growing sector of the industry – with spend by international visitors forecast to grow by over 6 per cent a year.

“Inbound tourism’s record performance since the Olympics bodes well for the future but to achieve the industry’s full potential we need to continue to raise our game, marry policy and marketing and promote Britain even more aggressively overseas.”

Inbound tourism increase

The value of this inbound tourism is forecast to grow from over £21bn in 2013 to £57bn by 2025, with the UK seeing an international tourism balance of payments surplus within a decade, almost forty years since the UK last reported a surplus.

If Britain were to become as successful as its European competitors in the new emerging growth markets for tourism (such as China), with further investment it could increase the value of inbound tourism by an additional £12bn by 2025 – an increase to £69bn or over 20 per cent on the base forecast.  

The report also highlights that tourism’s impact is amplified through the economy, so its impact is much wider than just the direct spending of tourists. Deloitte estimates the tourism GVA multiplier to be 2.2 – meaning that for every £1000 generated in direct tourism GVA there is a further £1200 that is secured elsewhere in the economy through the supply chain.

Minister for Tourism Helen Grant supported the report’s findings, adding: “We have showcased the best of Britain to the world in the last three years with some massive, memorable events, creating a huge boost for the tourism industry.

“More visitors are flying in and spending record amounts of cash and it’s clear that the size of the prize going forward is big. Tourism can continue to play an increasingly important role in Britain’s economic recovery, with jobs created and real career opportunities for many.”

British tourism: In numbers

  • £94.2bn ​– Total spend in England’s tourism sector in 2013 (27.3bn in London)
  • £127bn ​-Current value of the UK tourism industry
  • £257bn ​– Expected value of the industry by 2025
  • 3.8% ​- Predicted growth rate of tourism through to 2025 – significantly faster than the overall economy
  • 3.8m ​– Number of jobs expected to be supported by tourism in 2025
  • £57bn ​– Projected value of inbound tourism in 2025

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