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Tourism industry declined by 7 per cent during recession

Released: 03 February 2012 Download PDF

Tourism industry declined by 7 per cent during the recession

Experimental data published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that output from the UK tourism industry declined by over 7 per cent over the period of the 2008-09 recession.

Output - measured in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA) - fell by £5bn, from £73 billion to £68 billion between 2008 and 2009. Tourism’s total share of the UK economy fell from 5.7 per cent to 5.4 per cent of GVA during this period.

Within these totals there is a mixed picture for individual industries. For example, in the accommodation sector GVA rose from £7.3 billion to £7.6 billion but in food and drink serving activities it fell from £29.4 billion to £27.7 billion.

The report also shows that there was a decline in tourism-related jobs between 2008 and 2011, particularly among full-time posts. The number of firms in tourism industries fell 6 per cent between 2009 and 2011.

The analysis, published by the ONS Tourism Intelligence Unit, examines those industries that provide goods and services to tourists or visitors. These “tourism industries” are defined according to international guidelines and include accommodation activities, food and drink serving activities, passenger transport services, sport and cultural activities, and travel agency services.

The report includes an extensive analysis of tourism employment drawing on Annual Population Survey (APS) data and Workforce Jobs (WFJ) data. The APS data shows that, in 2009, 2.6 million workers had a main and/or second job in tourism industries; about 9.2% of all in employment. Second jobs were more prevalent, though, with over 17% of second job employment in tourism activities but only 8.6% of main job employment.

Self employment was also more prevalent in tourism industries in 2009 with 12.5% of all self-employment in the UK within such industries, compared with 8.4% of all employee jobs. The age profile of workers employed in tourism industries is younger than those in other industries with nearly 40% of employment in such industries by people under 30 years old in 2009, compared with less than 23% in non tourism activities.

The full report is available at

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