Latest figures out today show that jobs in tourism in the UK have grown more than twice as much as other sectors of the economy in the five years to 2014.
From 2009 to 2014, employment in tourism industries has grown by almost 12%, from 2.66 million to 2.97million, compared to non-tourism sectors which in comparison grew by 5%.
Tourism Minister David Evennett said:
“Our tourism industry makes a huge contribution to the UK economy and this impressive jobs growth is great news for the sector and the country on the whole.
“Attracting and keeping the best talent is key to the Prime Minister’s vision for tourism, which is why one of our priorities is to increase the number of apprenticeships in the industry and to champion careers in tourism.”
VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said:
“This growth in jobs is really fantastic news for the UK economy and echoes the record-breaking figures we are seeing in the growth of international visitors to Britain, especially given the fiercely competitive global environment we’re operating in. Tourism is a rapidly growing industry and we’re working hard to encourage visitors to explore all of Britain’s nations and regions to ensure that the economic growth from tourism and the jobs that the industry is continuing to deliver are spread right across Britain.”
The highest rate of growth was in accommodation, and food & beverage serving activities, which both increased by 15% – together the equivalent of more than 220,000 jobs.
The figures also show that:
Only 5% of tourism workers are casual employees; 90% of tourism workers are permanent; 5% of tourism workers are in other forms of temporary employment.
Almost 50% of workers in culture, sports, recreation or conference activities work either a Saturday, Sunday or both.
The profile of tourism workers is generally younger, with 26% of tourism workers aged 16 to 24, compared with 11% in non-tourism industries.
The top 10 places for employment in tourism as a percentage of all jobs are (in order):Lochaber, Skye & Lochalsh, Arran & Cumbrae and Argyll & Bute
Brighton and Hove
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
Isle of Anglesey
Perth & Kinross and Stirling
The growth in employment echoes the growth in inbound tourism in recent years. Last year was a record-breaking year to date for visitor numbers and growth looks set to continue in 2016 according to forecasts from national tourism body VisitBritain.
In spite of the strength of Sterling, spending by overseas visitors is predicted to reach almost £23 billion in 2016, a 4.2% increase on spending in 2015.
The number of overseas visitors to the UK is expected to rise this year with 36.7million visits, up 3.8% on 2015.
The latest figures put VisitBritain on track to realise its ambition for growing international visits to Britain by more than 20% over the next five years to 42 million visits by 2020, which could see an additional £4.5 billion in visitor spend.
Tourism is Britain’s seventh largest export industry and third largest service sector. The industry is also a major job creator, for example every 22 additional Chinese visitors that come to Britain create an additional job in the sector.
Inbound tourism is worth more than £26 billion to the UK economy.