Music tourists spent £2.2b in UK last year

11 October 2013 by
Music tourists spent £2.2b in UK last year

A total of 6.5 million music-loving tourists visited attended a festival or gig in the UK last year, spending more than £2.2b in the process.

That's according to a new report by UK Music and VisitBritain, entitled Wish You Were Here, which found that tourists at live music events offer regional tourism benefits, promoting travel around the British Isles and adding billions to the UK economy.

Tourists attending music events in the UK is also thought to sustain at least 24,000 jobs each year.

VisitBritain also indicated that it hoped music tourism could help fulfil its ambition to attract a total of 40m overseas visitors by 2020.

Other highlights from the report include:

• Further indirect music tourism spend - additional spending along the supply chain generated by music tourists - adds a further £914m, making a total spend of £2.2bn
• The average live music audience is comprised of 41% music tourists
• Music tourists from overseas spend, on average, £910 while attending festivals and £602 while attending concerts (average tourist spend is £600)
• Domestic music tourists spend, on average, £396 while attending festivals and £87 while attending concerts
• Overseas tourists account for 6% of music tourism visits but a huge 20% of music tourism spend
• London attracts 28% of all music tourists to the UK, with 1.8m visiting the capital

The report also suggested that towns and cities should promote themselves by making more of their musical heritage - as Liverpool already does with The Beatles.

UK Music chief executive 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."

VisitBritain CEO Sandie Dawe added: "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."

Brit award winner and GREAT ambassador Jessie J said: "Music for me is the only global language. It's such a huge thing for Britain to have strong live music, making our mark as performers across the world.

"I see international visitors at my gigs all the time waving their flags, fans that have dedicated their time and money so I try to give them all that I have every performance. I love the thought of them going back to their home towns across the world with that lasting memory of me performing on stage."

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."

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