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The benefits of tourism employment

KURT JANSON is policy director of Tourism Alliance

£27bn spent on summmer trips

People above the age of 25 in the UK are predicted to spend £27bn (US$42.3bn, €31.7bn) on hotel stays this summer in England or further abroad. According to a survey con-


here is view in government that the tourism industry only pro- vides “low skill, low pay” jobs that are either part-time or tem-

porary in nature and that tourism businesses do not employ British people. However, a new analysis of tourism employment data by the Tourism Alliance indicates that there are considerable misconceptions over employment in the sector. Take, for example the view that employ-

ment in the tourism industry is dominated by foreigners. In reality, 80 per cent of employees are British, with foreign workers concentrated in cosmopolitan cities such as London. And while temporary employment is greater in the tourism industry than in the workforce as a whole, the difference is a lot less than people imagine – tourism makes up 9.1 per cent of all UK employment and 13 per cent of all temporary employment. Rather than just providing low skilled

employment, 20 per cent of the people are self-employed compared to the average of 14 per cent for all industries. As such tourism is an incubator for much needed entrepre- neurs to provide growth for the economy. Tourism businesses also have a vital role

in reducing youth unemployment – one of the Government’s main problem areas. Almost 45 per cent of all people who work in the tourism industry are aged under 30, compared to just 24 per cent of workers in other sectors of the economy. It’s there- fore no surprise that the tourism industry accounts for 30 per cent of all student employment, helping students through uni- versity and into jobs in other sectors. Finally, even with the higher than average

levels of turnover in the industry, it’s nota- ble that 60 per cent of tourism employees have been with their present company for at least two years while 40 per cent of tour- ism employees have been with their current employer at least five years. So, with the tourism industry growing by

6.9 per cent in 2012 and revenue in the first three months of 2013 being 11 per cent ahead of last year, the tourism industry is one of the few large industries than can help lower employment in the UK.


ducted by online hotel rate aggregator, the average traveller books a room for 10 nights during the main summer holiday period and of those people nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) said price would drive their decision into choos- ing a hotel, while more than half (52 per cent) said that available facilities would play a significant role in their decision. Taking it easy is the big holiday plan for the

Te average traveller books a room for 10 nights during the summer

summer as 68 per cent of those surveyed said they planned to relax on a beach, island or spa. Tose from the UK who are planning to stay in a hotel between May and August are

expected to spend £1,116 which translates to an estimated national spend of £27bn. Te sur- vey, conducted online, was made up of 1,000 UK travellers over the age of 25, who had trav- elled two or more nights in the past six months and were planning to travel again this summer. Details:

Inbound tourism figures still on the increase

Te number of foreign tourists arriving to the UK has increased during 2013 - with analysts attributing the growth to increased interest in Britain as a destination following the 2012 Olympic Games. A report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that Visits to

the UK from countries outside of Europe and North America continue to rise in line with the pattern seen in 2011 and 2012. To date there has been a nine per cent

increase in visits from these countries. Details:

Britain’s gardens bring in £7.8bn revenue

New research released this month has revealed that £7.8bn is spent by tourists enjoying parks and gardens in the UK each year. The study, conducted by

VisitBritain, identified that of the 31 million visitors that come to Britain every year, around a third (11.1m) visit a park or garden. More than 40 per cent of

those under-35 are likely to visit a park or garden, com- pared to 33 per cent of visits coming from those aged over 35. People are much more likely to visit gardens, unsurpris- ingly, during the summer months, with four million of the annual tally coming between the months of July and September. Recent post-2012 Olympic Games research also shows that 75 per cent of respondents

Read Leisure Opportunities online: More than 40 per cent of visitors under-35 are likely to visit a park

across the world said that the Games cover- age made them want to venture out to visit other parts of the country. In a separate question, 70 per cent of peo-

ple said that following the Olympics, they agreed that Britain had a ‘lovely countryside’. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2013

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