Music tourism 'brings £2.2bn' into UK music industry

A Wish You Were Here report reveals that 6.5 million tourists visited Britain in 2012 to attend a festival or live show

Music tourism 'brings £2.2bn' into UK music industry

Photo: Andy Ford/NME

A new report has discovered that music helped bring £2.2bn into the UK economy in 2012.

The Wish You Were Here report by VisitBritain and UK Music reveals that 6.5 million tourists visited Britain last year to attend a festival or live show, pumping a collective £1.3bn into the tourism and hospitality industry with everybody from promoters to hotel owners benefitting. The report states that music tourists make up 41 per cent of the music audience in the UK, and created an extra £914m for the UK economy last year.

On average, music tourists visiting the UK to attend a festival will spend £910 while in the country, with those attending a live show spending approximately £602.

Speaking to Music Week, UK Music's chief executive Jo Dipple said the study was the most comprehensive look at music tourism that had ever existed. "The total direct and indirect spend of £2.2bn is incredibly impressive in a year that had its own problems,” she added, pointing to issues such as the poor weather, no Glastonbury Festival last year, the distraction of the Olympics and continuing problems in the wider economy.

"The fact there are six-and-a half-million tourists is very impressive and the fact that 6% of overseas tourists spend 20% of the money is a great target for us and VisitBritain to get more overseas tourists here because they spend the most money," said Dipple.

Additionally, the report found that people are more likely to visit cafes and restaurants if they are playing music inside. Of 300 people surveyed in Scotland, 60 per cent said they would spend more time and money in a restaurant or bar if they were playing music.

The Wish You Were Here report used numbers obtained by Oxford Economics, forecasting and quantitative analysis experts who used box office figures, promoters, arenas and PRS for Music to obtain their figures.

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