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Economic contribution of hospitality

The latest report produced by Ignite Economics showcases the significant contribution hospitality makes to the economy.

The report also shows that the sector has proven very resilient in the post-Covid period but cost pressures and labour supply shortages are taking their toll.


The report reveals that:

  1. 1

    In the past six years, hospitality has increased its annual economic contribution by £20 billion to £93 billion.

  2. 2

    Since 2016, employment in the sector has risen to 3.5 million, making hospitality the third largest employer in the country.

  3. 3

    Hospitality contributed £54 billion in tax receipts to the Treasury last year.

  4. 4

    The sector generated £20 billion worth of exports in 2022.

  5. 5

    Hospitality attracted £7 billion worth of business investment last year.

Read the full report.

Discover even more statistics about how the hospitality sector is the powerhouse of the everyday economy.

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  1. 1

    Third largest employer in the UK

    The wider hospitality sector employs 3.5 million people and is only behind wholesale and retail trade and health and social care as the nation’s biggest employers.

  2. 2

    One of the fastest-growing

    Hospitality has accounted for around 17% of overall UK employment growth between 2009 and 2019, placing it fifth in total number of jobs created.

  3. 3

    Important for every region

    Hospitality ranks as a top five employer in every region of the UK, accounting for up to 12% of every regional workforce.

Economic contribution

  1. 1

    Growing at double the speed of the economy

    Hospitality is growing at a rate of 5.9%, which is almost double the rate of the UK economy.

  2. 2

    Restaurants, pubs and clubs are the driving force

    Restaurants, pubs and clubs generate over 50% of the sector’s total economic contribution.

  3. 3

    Second-fastest growth

    Hospitality has grown quicker than any sector bar one, admin and support services, since 2009.

Tax and investment

  1. 1

    Significant tax revenues

    Hospitality has raised an estimated £54 billion in gross tax receipts in 2022, with the majority of this coming from VAT on sales.

  2. 2

    Delivering business investment

    The sector raised £7.3 billion in business investment in 2019, which represents 3% of all UK business investment.

  3. 3

    Supports SMEs

    The sector is almost all SMEs, which make up 99% of the sector.

Launched at Summer Conference 2023

Watch our Chief Executive Kate Nicholls launch the new report at our set-piece event of the year, where she shared the sector's significant contribution to the economy with an audience of high-profile industry figures and media.