Music tourism boosts UK economy; generates £2.2bn, 24,000 jobs

Over 6.5 million tourists attended concerts and music festivals in the UK last year, effectively boosting the UK economy by £2.2 billion, Travel Daily News International has reported, citing a separate report.

The ‘Wish You Were Here’ report prepared by UK Music and VisitBritain underscores the potential of music to fuel tourism throughout the country. Music tourism provides a boost to the UK economy, including at least 24,000 jobs each year, it said.

According to the report, direct spending by UK and overseas music tourists, including buying tickets and paying for transport and accommodation, was worth £1.3 billion last year. Further indirect music tourism spending – additional spending along the supply chain generated by music tourists – added a further £914 million, making a total of £2.2 billion.

VisitBritain chief executive, Sandie Dawe, said: ‘This report confirms that the UK’s music scene has significant international appeal and that music tourists spend lots of money and travel across the whole of Britain.

This will act as a catalyst for us all to ramp up our activity and forge better relationships with festival organisers, promoters, venues and producers to raise awareness of our amazing music scene across the world.’

UK Music CEO, Jo Dipple, said: ‘It’s clear our music industry is doing a great job for the British economy, encouraging 6.5 million tourists who generated £2.2 billion last year. Music tourism created over 24,000 jobs. Just think what we might achieve with policies that specifically target the music tourist in this country and abroad? Our opportunities are limitless. Consider the record demand for Glastonbury 2014. The love of music is a powerful driver for growth.’

The UK government and ministers have previously acknowledged the music industry’s potential for attracting overseas visitors to events such as Glastonbury and Bestival.

Culture minister, Ed Vaizey MP, said: ‘Music is without question an essential element of Britain’s tourism appeal, and it is this ability of the UK’s music industry to attract tourists from near and far to our shores that is celebrated in this report.

‘The huge financial contribution to the UK economy by the millions of music tourists to the UK annually makes it very clear that when combined, the music and tourism industries are powerful drivers for growth,’ Vaizey added.