A new Oxford Economics report revealed that 5.5 million foreign visitors arrived in the UK through Gatwick airport in 2017, adding £4.7bn to the country’s GDP and supporting 93,000 jobs.
The ‘Visitor Economy’ report on the airport’s impact on the country’s economy further highlights that the UK received a boost of £1.2bn in taxes on transactions, wages and profits generated by businesses serving overseas visitors.
Gatwick Growth Board co-chair Steve Norris said: “As a vital piece of UK infrastructure, Gatwick provides a significant contribution to local, regional and national economies and this report shows that this still has room to grow, both in terms of the number of inbound passengers and the value of each visit.
“As Gatwick continues to grow, it is our job as the Growth Board to ensure the benefits it brings to the economy are felt, not just nationally, but also by the airport’s regional and local neighbours and these roundtables have provided plenty of positive ideas as to how.”
Commissioned by the Gatwick Growth Board, the report noted that the UK economy receives a boost of £200m GDP and 4,000 jobs every time 100,000 travellers from Asia land at the airport.
The airport’s new routes to Hong Kong, Chongqing, Tianjin, and Taipei are the driving factors to this passenger boom, which is set to grow with the launch of other new routes to Asia.
Asian travellers spend an average £1,185 per visit compared to the £705 overall average. Other contributing travellers include those coming from the US spending £1,021, and Australia spending £1,047, as well as those from the Rest of Americas spending £1,117.
The report further indicated that 1.6 million visitors mainly from Scotland and Northern Ireland arrived at other parts of UK last year and contributed £588m to GDP and 12,700 jobs.
Other findings of the report reveal that more than four-fifths of visitors were from Europe, with Spain, Italy, and France being the top three origin countries, followed by the US.
About a fifth of visitors came from Germany, Denmark, Holland, and Ireland for business purposes.