To most people, they see the benefits of tourism. It contributes to a large part of Cornwall’s economy, as without it, things would be dire indeed. But just what is the impact with or without tourism; how much money does tourism help contribute to the Cornish economy?
On the job front, the tourism industry employs 25% of all employment in Cornwall. That is 60,921 jobs; which is made up of 45,017 FTE jobs and 15,904 non-FTE jobs. In comparison with our closest neighbours, the FTE jobs are: Devon 12% – 46,4532; Dorset 12% – 29,800 and Somerset 9% – 23,444.
This data is further broken down by the former District Council as:
- Kerrier – FTE jobs: 4,294 – actual 5,891 - 15% of all employment
- Caradon – FTE jobs: 4,833 – actual 6,827 -20% of all employment
- Carrick – FTE jobs: 5,426 – actual 7,433 – 14% of all employment
- North Cornwall – FTE jobs: 7,782 – actual 10,917 – 29% of all employment
- Penwith - FTE jobs – 5,898 – actual 8,133 – 31% of all employment
- Restormel – FTE jobs 8,674 – actual 11,951 – 23% of all employment
With what is the actual amount of money that is put into the Cornish economy? Well it is not a small amount; as the total amount is £1,855,422,000.
This is made up from domestic £1,212,999,000 and overseas £129,990,000 on accommodation type; day trips – £468,336,000; friends and relatives – £35,724,000 and second home/holiday accommodation £8,373,000. This makes the £1.8 billion.
This spend can be broken down further by the amount spent by purpose: holiday tourist is £1,126,447,000; business £34,809,000 and visits to friends and families £43,500,000. For Overseas it is: holiday £90,145,000; business £19,863,000 and visits to friends and family £10,553,000.
Second homes and boats make a contribution, too. For boats it is £4,934,000 and second homes, it is £4,439,000. The spend on second homes includes maintenance, and replacement of furniture and fixtures. For boats, it covers berthing charging, servicing and maintenance.
For the South West region as a whole, the spend is:
- Accommodation – £1,646,962,000 (18%)
- Shopping – £2,339,775,000 (26%)
- Food and Drink – £2,847,358,000 (31%)
- Attractions £984,184,000 (11%)
- Travel – £1,284,980,000 (14%)
This makes a total of £9,103,257,000. That is a huge amount of money from tourism.
However, there is a danger with Cornwall and the South West relying too much on tourism. As if there is a massive change, from either domestic and overseas competition, or the poor weather that has inflicted itself on us for the past few years. As a shift in people visiting would leave a very big hole in the Cornish and regions economy.
So what is the answer? More industry? If so, how do we as a county attract industrial businesses down? As from my experience sitting on Strategic Planning we receive few of this application type. It is either housing developments, supermarkets or renewable energy type applications. Not many jobs from renewable energy is there?
Furthermore, there has been this chicken and egg scenario of do you build houses to attract the business, or business first than housing? A balance of both would be right, but that is not happening. It has been made worse by recent changes to planning policy and the reliance on having to have a Local Plan. As without one, developers are using this against the council by submitting plans and claiming lack of Local Plan and/or no five-year land supply.
It is going to be interesting to see what 2013 brings
Tourism data has been taken from Visit Cornwall’s report – Value of Tourism 2011