Music tourism contributes more than £3bn to UK economy

UK Music has today published ‘Wish You Were Here 2015’, an economic study that reveals the vast contribution of music tourism to the UK economy.

According to the report, the number of music tourists in the UK increased by 34% between 2011 and 2014, with 9.5 million people travelling to music events in 2014. Those attending live concerts and festivals in the UK helped generate £3.1 billion in direct and indirect spend during this period.

The past four years have also seen a 39% rise in overseas tourists travelling to the UK (around 546,000) to attend music events, each with an average spend of £751 going directly to UK businesses.

The influx has provided a significant boost to employment across the country too, as 38,238 full time jobs were sustained by music tourism in the UK last year – a figure 57% higher than in 2012.

“It’s fantastic news that our music industry drew in 9.5 million tourists last year but it’s no surprise. British music is legendary around the world and continues to go from strength to strength, with UK artists now accounting for one in seven albums sold worldwide," said culture secretary John Whittingdale.

"Festivals like Glastonbury (pictured) hold an iconic status on the world music scene and are one of the reasons why international tourism is booming in the UK, drawing in streams of visitors to all parts of the country. We know our UK creative industries contribute an astonishing £76.9 billion to the UK economy but this report confirms they are truly world-class and a powerful advert for the UK.”

UK Music chairman Andy Heath added: “More international music tourists are coming to the UK and more Brits are travelling further afield to gigs. The average spend by international music tourists has increased by 13% during this period, while the total exports have grown by less than 2%. If we want an export-led recovery, we need music tourists to keep coming to the UK.”

Picture: Martin Audio