UK Tourism growing faster than banking sector
Travel & Tourism is the fastest growing sector in the UK, accounting for 11.9% of all jobs, ahead of Financial Services (8.9%) and Banking (3.4%), and generating £231.6bn to the nation’s GDP.
These are the headline figures revealed following major research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the global body representing the private sector of Travel & Tourism.
The launch of the research falls on the 50th anniversary of the ‘Development in Tourism Act’, which was introduced in July 1969 and saw the establishment of the British Tourist Authority and Tourist Boards for England, Scotland and Wales.
The aim was to give responsibility to the BTA for promoting the development of tourism to and within Great Britain, and to oversee the improvement of tourist amenities and facilities in order to attract both domestic and foreign visitors.
The United Kingdom is now the world’s seventh most popular tourist destination and the fourth in Europe, with almost 40 million visitors each year.
The ‘Benchmarking’ study from WTTC, compares the industry’s economic impact to eight other key sectors (Agriculture, Mining, Health, Automotive Manufacturing, Retail, Financial Services, Banking and Construction), across 26 countries and 10 world regions.
The report, sponsored by American Express, reveals that in the UK, of the sectors studied, Travel & Tourism is the fifth largest sector in terms of GDP contribution (11%), ahead of Banking (6.1%) and Automotive manufacturing (3.2%).
Travel & Tourism was the second fastest growing sector (3.9% pa) during 2010-18, behind Automotive manufacturing (5.6% pa), where stronger growth came from a much lower base. This contrasts with the Banking sector, which showed the poorest performance, contracting by 1.1% pa.
The Global Picture
Accounting for 10.4% (US$ 8.8 trillion) of total global GDP in 2018, Travel & Tourism took fifth position in terms of relative contribution to GDP amongst the nine sectors analysed. Its contribution was 1.4 times higher than Agriculture (7.7% contribution), 1.5 times higher than Banking (7.1% contribution) and Automotive Manufacturing (6.8% contribution) and 1.7 times higher than Mining (6.0% contribution).
Meanwhile, Travel & Tourism is in fourth place in terms of total contribution to employment (319 million jobs, 10% of all jobs), ahead of Financial services (9.1%) and Health (7.4%). One in five jobs created in the last five years were in Travel & Tourism.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC’s president & CEO, said: “As we know and is now reaffirmed by this Benchmarking Research, the Travel & Tourism sector underpins much of UK spending and supports jobs.
“WTTC commends the UK government for recognising the clear importance of the industry as a driver of economic growth and for their strategy in spreading the benefits of the industry across the country.”