News Ticker

£130 billion hospitality sector celebrated at inaugural conference

The UK’s hospitality sector is worth £130 billion, according to UKHospitality, the new national trade body for the sector. 

The figure was announced yesterday at UKHospitality’s inaugural conference: Shaping the Future, at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London. UKHospitality announced the publication of a forthcoming report that will highlight the economic contribution made by the UK’s hospitality businesses, including news that the sector:

  • employs 3.2 million people
  • added £72 billion to the UK economy – the fastest growing sector – since the economic downturn
  • generates £38 billion in taxation to fund vital national and local services.

Tourism Minister Michael Ellis also addressed the conference, paying tribute to both the economic and social impact of hospitality.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The inaugural UKHospitality conference was a fantastic recognition of the vital work being carried out by a dynamic and exciting sector. The figures announced today confirm what everyone associated with the sector already knows: that we are crucial to health of the UK economy, providing much-needed growth, investment and jobs in every single region of the UK.

“The sector is at the heart of communities across the country but is too often overlooked. Hospitality is the third largest private sector employer in the UK, double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined. It has played a key part in helping the economy through tough times.

“Our ambition is to see that hospitality is recognised by the Government as the major economic and social force that it is; recognised as an attractive and exciting career pathway for young workers and given the support it needs grow even more. Yesterday’s conference has been a fantastic celebration of the sector and a launchpad for UKHospitality’s future work.”

Tourism Minister Michael Ellis MP also addressed the conference, paying tribute to the UK’s hospitality sector: “This is a sector that has supported record-breaking 2017 growth and a £24 billion spend by foreign travellers. Perhaps equally impressively, it is not just a preeminent export earner, there is also a huge domestic market too – with UK tourists spending over £23 billion on domestic visits in 2017.

“The hospitality sector is not, however, just about phenomenal economic success… It is also about enriching people’s lives.

“Without brilliant hospitality – travellers and visitors to, and around, our astonishingly diverse land would not have the experiences that keep the UK consistently ranked as one of the best global tourist destinations.