Monday, May 16, 2011

Music Tourism Adds $1.4 Billion to UK Economy

Glastonbury Music Festival
Bloomberg: Tourists visiting U.K. music festivals and concerts contribute at least 864 million pounds ($1.4 billion) a year to the economy, highlighting the need for a live music tourism strategy, an industry group said.

Live music events across the country attract 7.7 million attendances by domestic and overseas tourists, who collectively spend 1.4 billion pounds during their trips, according to a report today from UK Music, a London-based group that includes songwriters, managers and record companies. Though just 5 percent of music tourists come from abroad, they contribute 18 percent of total spending.

The report, which follows one by the government identifying the U.K.’s creative industries as drivers of growth, urges the adoption of a strategy to lure overseas music tourists. It also recommends the promotion of music strengths of various regions and the formation of a body to promote live music tourism within the country. UK Music estimates 19,700 full-time jobs rely on the contribution from music tourists.

“Music provides a huge boost to U.K. tourism,” said Feargal Sharkey, UK Music’s chief executive officer. “It drives growth, it sustains thousands of jobs across all region and enhances our lives.”

Government should also work to address concerns over the U.K. visa system for overseas performers and exempt small venues from certain licensing regulations, according to the report.

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