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Home of Banksy

Home of Banksy

Visitor Economy

About the Visitor Economy

Bristol’s tourism economy is worth more than £1.3bn and supports almost 29,000 jobs.

Each year, Destination Bristol commissions a small amount of research as well as using research available publicly through VisitBritain, or through the purchase of independent reports. 

Volume and Value of Tourism

Every year we commission a ‘Volume and Value of Tourism’ report from an independent research company.  This is gives us information about tourism in the administrative boundaries of Bristol and South Gloucestershire and are reported as one total.

Due to the complex process of constructing the reports, these are generally released in the Autumn of the following year.  So, complete 2017 data will not be available until late autumn 2018.

The report for 2016 tells us the following:

  • Estimated total domestic staying trips:         2.115m
  • Estimated total international staying trips:   575,000
  • Total staying trips:                                     2.69m
  • Estimated total day visits                          18.529m

In Bristol, overseas visitors average 6.25 nights per trip, with an average spend per night of £56.88 – an average spend per trip of £355.38.

Domestic staying visitors average 2.13 nights per trip, with an average spend per night of £77.51 – an average spend per trip of £164.73.

Day visitors have an average spend per trip of £41.00

  • The value of the Visitor Economy in Bristol and South Gloucestershire was £1.33bn
  • Total tourism supported business turnover is estimated at £1.77bn
  • Tourism accounts for an estimated 28,696 actual jobs – 21,372 FTE

Business turnover arises as a result of tourist spending, from the purchase of supplies and services locally by businesses in receipt of visitor spending and as a result of the spending of wages in businesses by employees whose jobs are directly or indirectly supported by tourism spending.

More information is available on request or Destination Bristol members can access more information from the Member’s Area. Find out more about membership here.

The national reports are available via VisitBritain and these have been summarised for you.  The sample sizes are very small with all national reports.  Destination Bristol produce a monthly business barometer reporting on visitor numbers and occupancy in the local area, produced using a relatively high sample and therefore giving a relatively robust report.

Please note that staying visits does not mean that all stays were in hotels.  This accounts for those staying with friends and family and other forms of accommodation.

More details are available on request.

International Visitors 2016

The International Passenger Survey has now been published for 2016 and Bristol has seen the highest number of international visits than ever before at 570,000 making it the 8th most visited town or city in the UK by international visitors.

Using the IPS data as a benchmark, Bristol’s top 10 international markets by volume are (in order): 

  1. Germany
  2. Spain
  3. Poland
  4. France
  5. Ireland
  6. USA
  7. Italy
  8. Netherlands
  9. Switzerland
  10. Australia

Domestic Visitors – 2016

The Great British Tourism Survey (GBTS) has been published for 2016 and records a three-year average of domestic visitors to English destinations.

The 2016 report (average 2014 – 2016) shows Bristol as the 5th most visited city in England by domestic visitors.

4th highest for VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives)

4th highest for Business

21st for Holiday Visits

More information: 

Conference, social and business events - 2016

In 2016, there were an estimated 35,200 business events at Bristol venues. This was up on 2015 (30,700 events), 2014 (24,100 events) and 2013 levels (23,700 events).

These events generated an estimated 2.2million delegates accounting for nearly 3.2m event days.

Overall direct spend from delegates on venues and in destination on a range of things including accommodation (for those not staying at their venue), food and drink, shopping, entertainment, and transport in the area was an estimated £258.7m (up on 2015’s £201.8m).

Overall, business activity was up significantly on 2015 levels partly due to an increased number of events but also an upturn in residential business (with length of stay and rates up on 2015 levels).

Useful links to more research

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