UK 'set for hundreds of thousands of new tourism jobs'

Hundreds of thousands of UK tourism jobs could be created in the next few years, according to a new report.

The value of tourism to the UK economy could double by 2025, the study by professional services company Deloitte revealed.

Annual growth of 3.8% is predicted for the tourism economy, which is a faster rate than manufacturing, construction and retail.

The report commissioned by VisitBritain suggested tourism could account for 10% of UK gross domestic product by 2025, growing from its current value of 127 billion to 257 billion a year.

There are currently three million tourism jobs in the UK and this will rise to 3.8 million over the same period, the report found, meaning that tourism will be an even bigger part of the employment picture, accounting for around 11% of all jobs.

And the good news for people searching for jobs in UK regions is that the roles are tipped to be created across the country.

Inbound tourism is expected to continue as the fastest-growing tourism sector. A 6% growth in spending each year from international visitors may help to drive an increase in inbound tourism from over 21 billion in 2013 to 57 billion by 2025.

If the forecast proves true then it is said that for the first time in many years there will be a balance-of-payments surplus within the next decade - that is, international visitors to the UK will be spending more than British residents on trips overseas.

And the report suggests there is scope for even bigger improvements for UK tourism if it is able to capitalise on the emerging markets such as China as effectively as its European counterparts.

The report says that if the sector does so then it could, with further investment, increase the value of inbound tourism by an additional 12 billion to a total of 69 billion by 2025.

"Tourism has become a bedrock of the UK economy - generating a third of the UK's net new jobs between 2010 and 2012 - and still has the ability to grow at levels that will lead other industries out of the economic slowdown," said VisitBritain chairman Christopher Rodrigues.

Copyright Press Association 2013