Earlier this week, ahead of the next round of official Brexit talks resuming in Brussels, we launched a new report, “Travelling Together: The value of UK outbound tourism”, which looks at the economic value of UK outbound travel to the EU. The report looks at every area touched by travel, from the impact on national economies, through to the numbers of jobs and businesses supported by UK travellers. It also reflects on the importance of the industry to the UK.
The numbers are striking. In 2016, UK trips to the EU generated more than €37 billion in economic value to the EU27 countries, directly through wages and indirectly through supply chains. Over 860,000 jobs across the EU were supported, with over 440,000 businesses also supported by those travelling to Europe from the UK, whether for leisure, business trips or visiting friends and family. It is not just the EU27 who benefit from UK outbound travel; it is also hugely valuable to the UK itself. The report shows that the average UK holidaymaker spends £324 on their holidays before they’ve left the UK, and outbound travel is worth more than £28 billion a year to the UK economy. The industry benefits the whole of the UK, supporting over 380,000 jobs both directly and indirectly.
ABTA will be meeting with senior officials and political stakeholders here in the UK and in Brussels over the coming weeks, and we will be using the findings of this report to highlight the importance of securing a deal as swiftly as possible that enables holidaymakers and business travellers to continue travelling confidently post-Brexit. Our message is clear: the true economic value of UK outbound travel to both the EU and the UK must not be underestimated. The EU is the UK’s largest travel destination so it is in the interests of all our citizens to find a long-term solution that works for everyone. While we have confidence that the EU and UK government understand the importance of getting a deal, we need to see a greater sense of urgency in securing these arrangements so businesses can plan ahead and consumers have the confidence to travel.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive