New figures revealed to EN by the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) show an increased value of £24.6bn for the wider UK tourism (business and leisure) and events industry.
BVEP chairman Michael Hirst says the new figure, more than £2bn up on previous estimates, was collated from the various industry sub-sectors, and is possibly “an estimate on the low side”.
Trade fairs and exhibitions contribute £9.3bn of the total new value. The new data estimates UK conferences and meetings to be worth £7.2bn, the incentives market £1.2bn and corporate hospitality £1.1bn. Figures given for outdoor events and festivals, respectively, are £1bn and £1.1bn.
Hirst describes the £2.3bn value put on sports events as “massive” and says 25,000 businesses are now active in the UK events industry, with 513,000 employed in it on a full-time basis.
The BVEP is to publish a major briefing document in time for a parliamentary reception for MPs it is organising at the House of Commons on 20 October.
“The event will be part of the continuing elevated campaign by the events sector to raise profile,” says Hirst, who expects up to 150 MPs to attend. “They will all receive a prospectus post-general election outlining the strength of the sector and value to the economy.”
The BVEP chairman says there is support for the initiative from shadow tourism minister Tobias Elwood and Labour’s Margaret Hodge.