Skip to content

Video Summary: The Geography of Tourism Employment

Released: 23 November 2012

Slide 1

This is a video looking at the geography of tourism employment in the UK

Slide 2

We will start by looking at the number of people employed in tourism industries in the UK in 2011. Total employment in the UK in 2011 was 29.94 million. Using this chart, we can see the 9.1% of all those employed in the UK in 2011 worked in tourism industries. This percentage equates to 2.72 million people.

Slide 3

Using this chart we will show the percentage of tourism employment in each of the regions of the UK, shown by the blue horizontal bars. The dotted line shows the UK average of 9.1%, and as we can see, the region with the highest percentage of tourism employment is London where 10.4% of all those employed in London work in tourism industries.

The next highest regions after London are Scotland at 9.8% and Wales at 9.6%. The North East, the South West and the North West are also all above the UK average in terms of percentage of regional employment in tourism industries.

Slide 4  

Next we will examine the characteristics of tourism employment in the regions and nations of the UK. Employment in tourism industries can be broken down into four groups, food and drink serving activities, culture, sports, recreation and conference activities, passenger transport, travel hire and travel agency services, and accommodation services.

Using this chart, we will now look at the percentage of each of these groups that make up the total tourism employment in the UK. The black rectangle shows the 9.1% of total UK employment that is in tourism industries. We can see that 3.9% of those employed in the UK work in food and drink serving activities, 2.3% work in culture, sports, recreation and conference activities, 1.7% work in passenger transport, travel hire and travel agency services and 1.2% work in accommodation services.

By moving this chart down, and by bringing in the rest of the regions of the UK we can see the regional breakdown for the four tourism industry sectors.

The blue bars show the percentage for each regional that are employed in food and drink serving activities. 4.9% of all employment in the North East of England is in this tourism industry.

The red bars show the percentage for each regional that are employed in culture, sports, recreation and conference activities. London has the highest percentage of regional employment at 3.1% compared to 1.3% in Northern Ireland.

The green bars show passenger transport, travel hire and travel agency services employment for each region. 2.4% of all employment in London is in this tourism industry but only 1% in Northern Ireland

Finally the purple bars show the percentage of those employed in accommodation services. The largest percentage, of 1.9%, can be found in the South West.

Slide 5  

Finally we will analyse, at a more local level, the specific areas of the UK that have a large percentage of their total employment in tourism industries. Due to small sample sizes that data used here combines figures from 2010 and 2011.

The highest percentage of employment in tourism characteristic industries is found in Torbay with 16.7% of all employment in the area in tourism. Torbay is a traditional British seaside resort.

The rest of the top ten local areas for tourism employment are Lochaber, Skye & Lochalsh, Arran and Cumbrae, and Argyll and Bute, where tourism employment totals 15.3% of all employment in the area. Next is Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly at 14.9%, home to popular seaside resorts and other attractions such as the Eden Project. This is followed by, Gwynedd, the location of the Snowdonia National Park at 14.5%.

Next is East Cumbria, home to the Lake District, where 14.4% of their regional employment is in tourism industries, followed by, Blackpool, a traditional British seaside resort, at 12.9%, the historic centre of York at 12.9%, the Orkney Islands at 12.8%, the Isle of Anglesey at 12.8%, and lastly, Perth & Kinross and Stirling at 12.7%.  

Slide 6  

Further information on tourism employment activates can be found on the ONS website. A link can be found in the description of this podcast.    

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.