VisitEngland predicts creation of 500,000 tourism jobs in next decade

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

The increase in the number of Brits holidaying at home could lead to the creation of up to half a million new jobs in the sector, says VisitEngland
The increase in the number of Brits holidaying at home could lead to the creation of up to half a million new jobs in the sector, says VisitEngland

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VisitEngland has added further weight to the view that UK tourism will continue to boom by claiming that more than half a million new tourism jobs will be created over the next decade.

The tourist body said this would primarily be down to British people taking more trips and holidays at home, with domestic tourism currently accounting for 70 per cent of overall spend.

Its forecast follows on from research by VisitBritain, which calculated that inbound tourist spend will increase 4.5 per cent to £22.2 billion​ in 2015.

VisitEngland said a decade of growth will be kick-started by an “exceptionally high” number of anniversaries and events this year.

One of the biggest tourism events will be the Rugby World Cup in September, which is expected to contribute almost £1 billion to the economy during six weeks of games across 10 cities. 

Leading events​ 

Other notable occasions this year, VisitEngland claimed, include the 800th anniversary of magna carta, the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s death, the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo and the opening of Wayne Hemingway’s Dreamland in Margate, Kent, which is a recreation of the world's first amusement park.

James Berresford, chief executive of VisitEngland, said that tourism had been an engine of growth during the recession, with holiday spending at home by Brits up 24 per cent between 2008 and 2013, and overseas visitor spend growing 29 per cent over the same period.

He claimed that the “tailwind of growing consumer confidence and a falling oil price”, which cuts the cost of leisure travel, made him optimistic for a busy year of welcoming more visitors from home and abroad.

Berresford added: “There is a cornucopia of stunning events and anniversaries falling this year, which we’d expect to drive up visitor numbers right across the country. 

Tourism strategy​ 

Helen Grant, Minister for Tourism, said: “The continued success of UK tourism is fantastic news. Our tourism strategy is working and is a vital part of the government's long term economic plan.

“We are committed to keeping up this momentum and doing all we can to help an industry that is predicted to double in size over the next decade.”

Currently supporting 2.6 million jobs, England represents 84 per cent of the total UK visitor economy and is worth £106 billion.

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