Skip to content

Characteristics of Workers in Tourism, 2011

Released: 06 June 2013 Download PDF

Key Points

Tourism Workers in the UK have the following characteristics

• Workers in tourism have a younger age profile than those in non-tourism industries, particularly in the 16-29 age band which accounts for 39 per cent of workers in tourism, just over a million people.
• 14 per cent of workers in tourism industries are from non-white ethnic groups compared to just under 10 per cent in other industries.
• Nearly 14 per cent of workers in tourism are non-UK nationals, compared to just over 8 per cent in other industries.
• 27 per cent of workers in tourism have a higher education qualification compared to 40 per cent in non tourism industries

Introduction

Tourism makes a significant contribution to employment in the UK with 2.7 million people employed in main or second jobs in tourism characteristic industries in 2011, 9.1 per cent of the total for all industries. In this release we describe the characteristics of those people who are employed in tourism characteristic industries, for example age profiles, ethnicity, nationality and educational attainment.

Statistics in this paper are presented by four summary groups for tourism characteristic industries that relate to

  1. accommodation services,

  2. food and beverage serving activities,

  3. passenger transport, vehicle rental and travel agencies and

  4. cultural activities, sports activities, recreational and exhibition / conference activities.

Age and Gender

In this section The Annual Population Survey from 2011 is used to illustrate the differences in age and gender between workers in the tourism and non-tourism industries. In Figure 1 we can see that there are much higher proportions of younger age groups working in tourism as compared to non tourism industries. Of the 2.7 million people working in tourism industries, over a million of them were under 30 years of age. This is almost 40 per cent of employment in the industries compared to 22 per cent in other industries. This is offset by the smaller proportions of those aged 40 and above working in tourism as compared to the rest of the economy.

Figure 1: Percentage of main and second job employment in tourism and non-tourism industries by age band, 2011

Percentage of main and second job employment in tourism and non-tourism industries by age band, 2011
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

The trends identified in Figure 1 can be further analysed by tourism industry grouping and we can clearly see from Figure 2 that the accommodation and food and drink sectors have very high proportions of those aged under 30 in comparison to non tourism industries – more than double in the case of food and drink.

Figure 2: Age profiles of workers in the Tourism Industries, 2011 (per cent)

Age profiles of workers in the Tourism Industries, 2011 (per cent)
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

In Figure 3 below, we analyse the age distribution across the tourism industry groupings by region and country of the UK. There are a high proportion of younger age groups in tourism across all regions with the exception of London where tourism employment seems to be more evenly distributed across the age ranges with a larger proportion of workers in the 30-44 age band. This could be a result of a different profile of tourism employment in London with higher proportions of workers in passenger transport activities for instance. This has been shown in a previous release about the Geography of Tourism Employment.

Figure 3: Regional age profiles of workers in tourism, 2011 (per cent)

Regional age profiles of workers in tourism, 2011 (per cent)
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

In Figure 4 we can see that there are differences in the gender split between tourism industry groupings even if the totals for non-tourism and all tourism industries is the same for male and female employment. There are more females working in accommodation and food and beverage serving activities but in passenger transport activities the reverse is true with more than 70 per cent of the workforce male.

Figure 4: Gender Differences in Tourism Industries, 2011 (per cent)

Gender Differences in Tourism Industries, 2011 (per cent)
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Ethnicity and Nationality

The Annual Population Survey can be further examined to determine the levels of employment by ethnicity and nationality in tourism. Figure 5 shows how ethnicity is split across the tourism industry groupings. Overall, 14 per cent of tourism industry employment is composed of ethnic minorities compared to just under 10 per cent elsewhere. The food and beverage serving activities and passenger transport activities have the most significant levels of ethnic minority employment with Asian or Asian British ethnic groups comprising the largest component of this.

Figure 5: Proportion of employment by non-white ethnicity 2011 (per cent)

Proportion of employment by non-white ethnicity 2011 (per cent)
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Figure 6 shows that tourism industries employ non UK workers to a greater extent than other industries. It particularly highlights the high proportions of workers of recent EU accession state (A12) nationalities in accommodation activities and of non-EU nationalities in food and beverage serving activities.

Figure 6: Proportion of employment in tourism industries by non UK nationality, 2011 (per cent)

Proportion of employment in tourism industries by non UK nationality, 2011 (per cent)
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

In Figure 7 we examine in more detail which countries non-UK nationals working in tourism originate from. The chart shows that 15 per cent of non-UK nationals originate from Poland and the top 10 nationalities working in the sector account for 50 per cent of all non-UK nationals working in tourism characteristics industries.

Figure 7: Nationality of Workers in Tourism by country, 2011 (per cent of non-UK nationals)

Nationality of Workers in Tourism by country, 2011
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

 

Notes for Ethnicity and Nationality

  1. The Accession States comprise of Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Malta, Estonia, Cyprus, and Slovenia

Educational Attainment

We can examine the qualifications levels of those employed in tourism using the Annual Population Survey for the UK and in Figure 8 we can see the highest qualification level of those employed in the different tourism industry categories. Cultural and sport activities have the highest levels of degree level qualifications amongst workers in tourism. In other sectors of tourism, however, there are low levels of higher education and proportionately more workers with no qualifications. This is the pattern that we see when looking at the tourism industries as a whole versus non-tourism industries where 40 per cent of workers have a degree or above compared to 27 per cent in tourism industries.

Figure 8: Proportion of employment by highest level of qualification, 2011 (per cent)

Proportion of employment by highest level of qualification, 2011 (per cent)
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Figure 9 shows the regional distribution of educational attainment in the tourism industries and it is clear from the figure that London has a disproportionately high level of workers in the sector with a degree or equivalent or higher education qualification. Conversely, regions such as Northern Ireland, the West Midlands and the North East have higher than average levels of workers with no qualifications.

Figure 9: Educational Attainment in tourism characteristic industries by country and region, 2011 (per cent)

Educational Attainment in tourism characteristic industries by country and region, 2011 (per cent)
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

 

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

Supporting information

Further information

Tourism Employment Summaries - This release is part of a series of short articles about various aspects of employment in tourism characteristic industries in the UK.
The Supply Side of Tourism - This report includes an estimate of employment in tourism industries for the regions and sub-regions of the UK in 2011.
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.