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Tourism sector toasts ‘impressive’ jobs boom

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The number of jobs in the UK’s tourism sector grew by more than twice as much as other sections of the economy in the five years to 2014.

That’s according to the latest Office for National Statistics employment figures, which showed the number of jobs in the tourism industry grew by almost 12 per cent – from 2.66 million to 2.97 million – between 2009 and 2014. By comparison, the average growth in job across non-tourism sectors was 5 per cent.

The figures were hailed by interim tourism minister David Evennett – who is covering Tracey Crouch’s maternity leave – as evidence of the key role played by the sector in helping Britain recover from the recession.

"Our tourism industry makes a huge contribution to the UK economy and this impressive jobs growth is great news for the sector and the country on the whole,” said Evennett.

"Attracting and keeping the best talent is key to the Prime Minister’s vision for tourism, which is why one of our priorities is to increase the number of apprenticeships in the industry and to champion careers in tourism."

The highest rate of tourism jobs growth came in the accommodation and food and beverage sectors, which both increased by 15 per cent – the equivalent of more than 220,000 jobs combined.

The growth in employment echoes the growth in inbound tourism in recent years. Last year was a record-breaking year to date for visitor numbers and growth looks set to continue in 2016, according to forecasts from national tourism body VisitBritain.

“This growth in jobs is really fantastic news for the UK economy and echoes the record-breaking figures we are seeing in the growth of international visitors to Britain, especially given the fiercely competitive global environment we’re operating in,” added VisitBritain director Patricia Yates.

“Tourism is a rapidly growing industry and we’re working hard to encourage visitors to explore all of Britain’s nations and regions to ensure that the economic growth from tourism and the jobs that the industry is continuing to deliver are spread right across Britain.”

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The number of jobs in the UK’s tourism sector grew by more than twice as much as other sections of the economy in the five years to 2014.