International Travel – powering the UK economy
International Travel: Powering the UK economy

As we are an island nation, international travel is a cornerstone of the UK economy – connecting us to the world and allowing people to take holidays, make business trips, and to visit friends and relatives whether here in the UK or overseas. Yet, too often the economic importance of travel, and the role businesses across the industry play in providing jobs throughout the UK, are overlooked and under-appreciated.

That is why ABTA and UKinbound have come together to publish this report outlining the significant role that international travel plays in powering the UK economy. Our respective parts of the UK’s vibrant tourism mix, outbound and inbound travel, are interdependent and interlinked, with shared infrastructure – both physical, such as airports and ports, but also and in terms of the route viability that is underpinned by two-way travel flows. We know that the benefits of travel are far wider than economic, incorporating the enormous social, well-being and cultural benefits offered to individuals, and travel’s contribution to the UK’s international soft-power. It’s important that, in addition to those positive impacts of travel, we also make clear the central role our sectors play in the UK economy.

The report is based on research commissioned by ABTA from York Aviation, a leading consultancy, and is the most comprehensive study to date on the importance of international travel – laying out how it powers the UK economy by making an overall gross value added (GVA) contribution of £80bn annually, and supporting the employment of more than 1.5m people right across the UK.

Use this template letter to contact your local MP and ask that they support the UK travel industry.

We have published alongside this report an online dashboard which enables consumers, the media, MPs, officials and policymakers to examine the economic importance of international travel to local communities in terms of jobs and GVA.