Music Tourists Power the Economy

A report published this month has concluded that Music tourists contribute at least £864m a year to the UK economy

UK Music this month has published a study on the economic contribution of music festivals and major concerts to tourism throughout the UK. It concluded that music tourists contribute at least £864 million a year to the UK economy.

Focussed on large-scale live music events across all regions of the UK, the Destination: Music report concludes that they attract at least 7.7 million attendances by domestic and overseas music tourists, who collectively spend £1.4 billion during the course of their trip and although only 5% of all music tourists come from overseas, they contribute 18% of total music tourist spending.

Findings in the report conclude:
- Large-scale live music across all regions of the UK attracts at least 7.7m attendances by domestic and overseas music tourists.
- Collectively they spend £1.4 billion during the course of their trip.
- This is a positive contribution of £864m (GVA) to the national economy and equivalent to 19,700 full-time jobs.
- Although 5% of all music tourists come from overseas, they contribute 18% of total music tourist spending.

Initiatives such as the Belfast Music Exhibition, iPhone app, website and coach tour, all aim to promote Belfast’s reputation as the birthplace of exceptional music, with Belfast Music Week 2010 forming part of this live music tourism strategy.

In the report, Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery highlights the benefits of such events in the city:

'Belfast’s music receives high international praise. Our latest generation of musicians are playing a crucial role in revitalising the city which is lit up with a vibrant calendar of music festivals.This art form is defining the new mood of Belfast.

'The fact that MTV’s Europe Music Awards will be held in Belfast in 2011 is a significant endorsement of our music current scene.'

During Belfast Music Week 2010, Belfast City Council worked with a wide range of venues and promoters to market over 100 live music events, showcasing Belfast’s position on the world stage as a music destination. This generated income of £1,185,000 for Belfast and positive national media coverage equated to €1,555,960 in advertising spend.

Feargal Sharkey, Chief Executive of UK Music said:

'I am hugely excited by the findings of this research. Its message is crystal clear: music provides a huge boost to UK tourism, it drives growth, it sustains thousands of jobs across all regions and it enhances our lives. I am optimistic that policy-makers will view this data and acknowledge there is even more we could achieve, especially when it comes to attracting overseas visitors. The rest of the world clearly recognises the importance of music to the UK. It is time we did similar.'

Download the UK Music Research Music and Tourism full report here.

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