Visits to the UK surpassed 34.3 million in 2014, with an average spend of £636 equating to a total spend of £21.8 billion for the UK economy. France, Germany and the US account for to 30% of all UK visitors and 27% of total tourism expenditure (VisitBritain, 2015).
Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors for UK employment, and is set to have total industry value of £257 billion by 2025. The tourism industry provides 3.1 million jobs to the UK economy which equates to 9.6% of total UK employment (Deloitte, 2013).
According to VisitBritain, in the 2014 Anholt GfK Nations Brand Index the UK retained 3rd place as a ‘nation brand’ behind Germany and the USA. Rankings cover 50 nations, including leading and emerging economies, and are produced by collating the views of 20,000 people around the world annually. The overall nation brand is made up of scores for six dimensions – Tourism, Culture, People, Immigration-Investment, Exports and Governance. Looking at the dimensions relevant for tourism the UK ranked 3rd out of 50 nations in terms of a ‘Tourism’ brand and 5th for ‘Culture’.
The Tourism Alliance states that the UK tourism industry has become the UK’s fifth largest export earner, with revenue from inbound tourism increasing by almost 30% since 2008. Domestic tourism has grown significantly with revenue increasing by 11% to £78bn from 2011 to 2014.