The London tourism industry is set to soar to £77 billion by 2025 and continue rising after that, according to a new report commissioned by Visit Britain, which suggests that the city’s £77.4 billion tourism trade will account for 12.8 per cent of London’s GDP.
The report suggests that the industry will also support around 700,000 jobs, which is 12 per cent of all the capital’s employment.
It estimates that the largest-growing part is expected to be in-bound tourism, with spending by visiting foreign nationals expected to rise by six per cent a year.
According to the figures, the 66 per cent jump in tourism will see it grow even faster than the manufacturing, construction and retail sectors, which show that the city is continuing to evolve, explained Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise Kit Malthouse.
He added: “These figures are great news for the capital and demonstrate that London remains one of the most exciting tourist destinations in the world. The very confident forward projections out today indicate an exciting future for this great city.”
The Visit Britain report also looked at tourism across the UK as a whole, finding that tourism has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK in employment terms over the past three years, responsible for a third of the NET increase in UK jobs.
Recent employment growth in the sector has been more than four times the rate of manufacturing, and this is set to continue, with forecasts predicting that the tourism economy will be worth around £127 billion in 2013, which is equivalent to nine per cent of the country’s GDP.
Currently, it supports more than three million jobs, which is 9.6 per cent of all jobs and 173,000 more than in 2010, while the sector itself is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 3.8 per cent through to 2025, which is significantly faster than the overall UK economy.
In 2025, Britain will have a tourism industry worth more than £257 billion, which is just under ten per cent of UK GDP and supports over 3.7 million jobs – around 11 per cent of total UK employment.
Those jobs will be distributed across the breadth of the country; while urban areas such as London, Birmingham or Edinburgh have the highest number of jobs in tourism, the relative level of tourism-related jobs tends to be higher in rural and coastal areas.
During this period of job creation, productivity in the tourism sector is also expected to increase by two per cent per year.
Christopher Rodrigues, VisitBritain Chairman, said that tourism has become a “bedrock” of the UK economy and still has the ability to grow at levels that will lead other industries out of the economic slowdown.
“Inbound tourism is already one of Britain’s top export industries and will continue to be the fastest growing sector of the industry, with spend by international visitors forecast to grow by over six per cent a year,” he explained.
“Inbound tourism’s record performance since the Olympics bodes well for the future but to achieve the industry’s full potential we need to continue to raise our game, marry policy and marketing and promote Britain even more aggressively overseas.”