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Rock'n'revenue: Music tourism brings £3bn boost to UK economy

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The UK’s booming music industry and festival scene helped generate £3.1bn in music tourism in 2014, according to a new report.

The Wish you were here report by industry body UK Music found that 9.5 million music tourists travelled to live concerts and festivals such as Glastonbury, the Isle of Wight Festival and Scotland’s T-in The Park during the year. Overseas visitors made up 546,000 of these music tourists and spent an average of £751 each.

“The UK’s rich music heritage and infrastructure has made the UK the go-to destination for live music globally and these statistics show how tourism is now a bedrock of British music and the wider economy,” said UK Music CEO Jo Dipple.

The report found that music tourism is poised for further growth, having seen the number of overseas music tourists jump 39 per cent between 2011-2014. This increase in music tourism also brought a boost to employment throughout the country, with 38,238 full-time UK jobs in 2014 sustained by music tourism – a 57 per cent increase since 2012.

The report follows research published last year suggesting an additional £4bn could be raised for the UK economy by cashing in on the country’s music heritage through attractions linked to stars such as David Bowie, The Beatles and the Arctic Monkeys.

“It’s fantastic news that our music industry drew in 9.5 million tourists last year but it’s no surprise,” said culture secretary John Whittingdale.

“British music is legendary around the world and continues to go from strength to strength, with UK artists now accounting for one in seven albums sold worldwide. Festivals like Glastonbury hold an iconic status on the world music scene and are one of the reasons why international tourism is booming in the UK, drawing in streams of visitors to all parts of the country.”

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The UK’s booming music industry and festival scene helped generate £3.1bn in music tourism in 2014, according to a new report.
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Festivals such as Glastonbury have proved a huge draw for music tourists / Flickr.com / Neal Whitehouse Piper
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