Tourism’s central role in creating new jobs across Scotland underlined in Deloitte report

A report commissioned by VisitBritain has found that since 2010 tourism has been the fastest growing sector in the UK in employment terms, responsible for one-third of the net increase in UK jobs between 2010 and 2012. Recent employment growth in the sector has been ‘stellar’ over this period says the report – more than four times the rate of manufacturing.

The report forecasts that Scotland’s tourism economy will be worth around £11.6 billion this year (2013), equivalent to 10.3% of the Scotland’s GDP. It supports over 292,000 jobs, which is 10.9% of all Scotland’s jobs. The sector is predicted to grow 53.4%in real terms through to 2025 – much faster than sectors such as manufacturing, construction and retail.

Scotland could have a tourism industry worth over £23.1 billion by 2025 – 11.5% of Scotland’s GDP and supporting almost 350,000 jobs, which is 12.6% of the total Scotland number. Those jobs would be distributed right across Scotland, for while urban areas such as Glasgow or Edinburgh have the highest number of jobs in tourism, the relative level of tourism-related jobs tends to be higher in our rural areas. During this period of job creation, productivity in the tourism sector is also expected to increase by 2% per annum.

Tourism’s impact is amplified through the economy, so benefits are much wider than just the direct spending of tourists. Deloitte estimates the tourism GVA multiplier to be 2.2, meaning that for every £1000 generated in direct tourism GVA there is a further £1200 that is secured elsewhere in the economy through the supply chain.¹

UK Inbound tourism will continue to be the fastest growing tourism sector, with spend by international visitors forecast to grow by over 6% a year. The value of inbound tourism is forecast to grow from around over £21bn in 2013 to £57bn by 2025, with the UK seeing an international tourism balance of payments surplus within a decade – almost forty years since the UK last reported a surplus.

If Britain were to become as successful as its European competitors in the new emerging growth markets for tourism (such as China) it could increase the value of inbound tourism by an additional £12bn by 2025 – an increase to £69bn or over 20% on the base forecast.

Scottish inbound tourism is set to grow from £2.0bn in 2013 to £5.2bn by 2025.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

“Tourism is a cornerstone of Scottish industry and is vitally important to the on-going stabilisation of the economy.

“I’m delighted to see the importance being placed on tourism, highlighting the fundamental role it has in job creation, economy growth and ultimately putting Scotland firmly on the front foot after a difficult economic period.

“Our popularity with our international markets comes as no surprise. Our award-winning marketing teams do a marvellous job of communicating exactly what we have to offer visitors. Themed years have helped ensure that our many assets are showcased and we have a tremendous amount to look forward to next year and beyond. In 2014, the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Homecoming Scotland and the recently announced MTV Europe Music Awards, also in Glasgow, will allow us to market our beautiful country on a global stage like never before.

“We are going to welcome the world to these shores with an opportunity to create a lasting legacy for Scotland. Our promise is that we will not only meet expectations, but exceed them.”
Christopher Rodrigues, Chairman of VisitBritain added:

“Tourism is fast becoming the bedrock of our UK economy and still has the ability to grow at levels that will lead other industries out of the economic slowdown.

“Scotland has so much to offer international guests. Edinburgh is a major draw for international visitors and regularly appears on destination wish-lists along with Glasgow and the Highlands.

“Scotland could have an industry worth over £23.1 billion by 2025, that’s 53.4% more in real terms than in 2013, which would support 349,000 jobs – at all skill levels.

“Inbound tourism’s record performance since the Olympics bodes well for the future but to achieve full potential after the Commonwealth Games, we need to continue to raise our game, marry policy and marketing and promote Scotland even more aggressively overseas.”