Tourism and UK Economy Free Essay

The Impact of Tourism on the UK Economy

Development of new technologies and introduction of the technology advances in all life spheres leads to overall progress of the society. Tourism in its turn is a kind of activity, which is closely related to this progress. Tourism has transformed from the need to visit different places to the pleasure of seeing and visiting them, and later it became an economic activity. The UK is considered to belong to significant tourist attractions in the world, as the country regularly attracts millions of visitors. The major tourist destination in the UK is London. Generally tourism is considered to be an important market sector in the economy of the country. A lot of efforts were already contributed in order to attract more home and foreign visitors to the spectacular places of the UK, and to the Olympic Games 2012. More visitors and tourists logically bring more profits. Tourism is said to be an important sector, which is beneficial for generation of foreign revenues. Along with this tourism is peaceful and related to the culture of the country. The UK, as a rich culture, has the chance to create a better image around the world thanks to the tourists, visiting the country.  Along with great benefits tourism sector brings a lot of new challenges, related to security and pollution for example.

Most of the researchers nowadays are focused upon investigating of the analysis of the actual relation between tourism and economic development of the country. The general aims are to work out the strategies for maximizing of this development and creating and sustaining of the positive cultural image in the world. There is a profound connection between culture and tourism, as culture is based first of all upon authenticity and originality, and tourists are attracted exactly to these kinds of factors. Understanding of the mechanism of this correlation is beneficial for using tourism for economic benefits for the country. The UK is the country with variety of tourist attractions and no wonder that tourism has important impact upon the country’s GDP amount. The UK is an accessible place: there are International Airports – Newcastle International and Heathrow, road network, rail network and the Channel Tunnel. This attracts a lot of international tourists, as well as motivated the citizens of the country for domestic tourism activities. Tourism in the UK is encouraged due to two reasons, first of all as its helps to create the positive image of the country in the world and secondly because tourism has great economic impact.

Tourism was initially encouraged due to its economic impact, as it played the role of the engine for generating of a lot of public and private business options. Tourism has contacts with the local community and economy and this explains such serious impact of tourism sphere upon economy of the country. Tourism brings positive effects for the local economies and has impact upon national GDP increase. Also, tourism should be considered as a component of community development, contributing to reduction of poverty. As Pearce (1989) put out: “Studies of the impact of tourist development on a destination or destinations have been the largest single element of tourism research much of this is predominantly the work of economists and has concentrated on the effects of income and employment.” In case if tourism is successfully incorporated into the future plans of country’s development and obtains appropriate provisions for creating of the connections between different sectors, then it has a potential for causing growth in all spheres, related to tourism in the main economic spheres of the country.

When tourists arrive to their destination place, they certainly have a lot of different kinds of spending and their spending is an important economic factor for the country. Thus tourists affect the inflation rates, employment/unemployment statistics, exchange rate, GDP and so on. For example when inflation started to grow in 2008 in the UK, this fact was related to the shortage in arrivals and the inbound tourism in the country. The Euro monitor International Figures stated that the inbound tourism decreased by 5%. Then the inflation stuck during the following year and had great impact upon most of business spheres, including tourism industry as well. Citizens of the country were inclined to spend their holidays and vacations inside and at the same time fewer tourists arrived from other countries of the world. “The Euromonitor International Figures that were recorded in 2009 showed that there was an approx. 12% decline of people traveling abroad from the UK. The inflation rate of the UK, which was last recorded in November 2012, was 2.70% according to ONS.” (World Travel and Tourism Council, 2016). It is mentioned in the report by UKCES in 2012 that tourism makes for around 6% of GDP of the United Kingdom and secured work places to around 2.5 million individuals. Exchange rate and the process of fluctuation of currencies are also related to the spending patterns, revealed by tourists.

Domestic tourism is considered to be one of the most important components of tourism spending in the UK. In 2008 for example the expenditures reached £21,881 million. Statistically there were 126 million trips made in 2009 domestically. People in the United Kingdom prefer to travel during the periods, when they have bank holidays and their long summer vacations. “There is a longstanding history in the UK of travel to coastal resorts such as Blackpool, Lancashire and Swansea, Wales, with many families staying at accommodation called holiday camps. This tradition has faded significantly due to competition from overseas package holiday operators, rising operational costs, and rapidly changing demand which forced many holiday camps to close in the 1980s and 1990s.” (Hall et. al., 2005, p. 113).

The heritage tourism also plays an important for the connection between the tourism and economic spheres of the UK. Domestic and international tourists made around 192 million trips, which were heritage-motivated and spent £17.5 billion for them. Most of these tourists traveled to castles, to painting and sculptures museums, art galleries, to cathedrals and churches, beaches, urban parks and various national reserves, they explored actively the countryside. In order to respond to this kind of demand, the UK established a lot of tourism services, such as building hotels, managing museums, running training and so on. This process is important, as it leads to stimulation of the economic activity of the UK, and thus heritage tourism makes a weighty contribution into the economy of the country. The businesses and organizations, which worked for heritage-motivated tourists, were estimated to have purchased the goods and services for £6.5 billion from the UK supplies in 2015.

The history of the rural tourism in the United Kingdom is the longest in the western regions, such as Devon, Cornwall, Scotland. The tourist activities were of great importance for the regions for maintaining of the market share and being economically stable. Development of the rural tourism in the United Kingdom is directly connected to the emerging of the system of transportation. The railroads appeared in the 19th century, and in the 1950s and 1960s the coastal resorts attracted more and more tourists. During the following decades, the tourists could enjoy the  packages for Mediterranean Sea. “According to the Government UK in 2015, 42.1% of enterprises, 25.7% of turnover and 44.4% of employment was in rural tourism industry, making it the largest division. In rural England, 10.6% of local business units are in tourism related industries. In addition, the visitors from rural areas spent £3 billion (of which £200 million were expenses in rural tourism), and there were 850 million tourists and 1900 million visitors.” (World Travel and Tourism Council, 2016).  In 1980 national organization were created with the aim to provide support for the small business development in the sphere of rural tourism. Among them were The British Tourist Authority, Scottish Farmhouse Holidays, Farm Holiday Bureau, Classic Cottages and so on. It is possible to trace the involvement and cooperation of the companies in the sphere of rural tourism in the UK. The UK has the plans to diversify the tourist offers by the year 2020 in the rural areas in order to offer new opportunities for appearing of new sphere locally. Rural tourism should not be seen in its narrow sense; instead it is important to understand that it has great meaning for the economy of the UK, as rural tourism is beneficial for the domestic market and could reinforce the incomes from the external markets as well.

Overall, analyzing the sphere of tourism in the UK, it is possible to assume, that the increase of progress and proving the chance to obtain higher knowledge level and overall life dynamics are the factors, which force rapid development of the tourism sector. People have the wish to travel and see new places and meet new cultures. The UK is the country, which is known in the whole world as a rich tourist destination and attraction, thus no wonder that the tourism sphere is really meaningful for the economic development of the country.


Abdellatif, Tarek. 2015. The Importance of the Image of a Destination in the Choice and Intention of Revisiting: The Case of Island of Djerba. Behavioral Marketing Journal.  Vol. 7, No. 7.

BBC. 2010. Tourism Value to UK ‘could grow by 60% in 10 years. Retrieved from

Butnaru, Gina, Ionela,  Haller, Alina. 2017. Perspective of Sustainable Rural Tourism in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK): Comparative Study of β and σ Convergence in the Economic Development Regions. Sustainability.

Hall, D., Kirkpatrick, I., Morag, M. 2005. Rural Tourism and Sustainable Business; Cornwell Press: Hook, UK

Oxford Economics. 2013. The Economic Impact of the UK Heritage Tourism Economy.

Pearce, D. 1989. Tourist Development. Wiley, New York.

Tourism In The UK Contributes More GDP Than Automotive Manufacturing. n.d. Business report.

World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Travel & Tourism.  Economic Impact. 2016. World Travel &Tourism Council: London, UK.


The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

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[Accessed: January 20, 2022] (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

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