Detailed research shows heritage worth £26.4bn to the economy 2 Aug 2013

The latest figures from the HLF show that heritage is worth £26.4bn to the UK economy. The statistics come as part of ongoing research compiled by Oxford Economics, whose first release of figures in 2010 were based on 2007 data and then estimated a figure of £20.6bn. The £5.8bn increase in only a few years is explained by:

  • A 13% rise in international visits to the UK between 2007 - 2011;
  • Domestic day trips rising by 47% in the same period;
  • Visitors spent more on these trips in 2011 compared to 2007: 28% more for international visitors, 7% for internal tourists;
  • 28% of people’s holiday itinerary now includes heritage attractions (these figures may have been measured more accurately in the more recent survey); and
  • Inflation - however over the same period inflation was 14%, so only about half of the increase can be attributed to this.

The report adds:

The heritage tourism economy is therefore larger than many commonly defined sectors of the economy. For example, based on figures for 2011 from the ONS Annual Business Survey, the estimated £5.07 billion in direct GDP attributable to the heritage tourism economy is larger than the value added of the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry (£1.7 billion), the beer manufacturing industry (£2.4 billion), the paper and paper products manufacturing industry (£3.9 billion), and the construction of roads and railways (£2.8 billion).

The HLF’s report also provides some concrete local examples of economic impact. For example, Jackfield Tile Museum now supports 73 jobs in the wider economy in rural Shropshire, compared to 40 before HLF redevelopment.  HLF