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Study: UK meetings industry generates billions in revenue, one million full-time jobs


Research by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation and undertaken by the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) from Leeds Metropolitan University has revealed:

  • The UK meetings industry delivers about $90 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The meeting industry is the UK’s 16th largest employer with more than 515,000 individuals directly employed.
  • Including indirect employment, the meeting industry generates more than 1 million full-time jobs.
  • Meetings made a direct gross value added (GVA) contribution of about $31 billion.
  • The meetings industry contributed about $31 billion in taxes to the economy.

The groundbreaking UK Economic Impact Study was revealed at The Meetings Show UK.

Directed by Dr. ShiNa Li, the ICRETH research team used the U.N. World Tourism Organisation methodology for the study. This methodology is a globally accepted model that has already been utilized to conduct the same research in Canada, the United States, Australia, Mexico and Denmark. A direct comparison shows that as a percentage of GDP, the meeting industry has a more significant economic impact in the UK than in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

“The study results are extremely positive and clearly demonstrate that the meeting industry delivers significant value to the UK economy,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO, MPI. “This research provides an invaluable tool for professionals in our industry to use to enhance the perception of the meeting industry in the UK The success of this research provides a benchmark and example for other meeting professionals around the world to discover the value of the industry in their own country.”

The study is the first MPI Foundation-commissioned study to breakdown data at a sub-national level. The study has produced profile and economic impact data at home country and regional levels as well as in five cities, namely: London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and Liverpool.

“The research was undertaken to firmly establish the size and impact of meetings in the UK with a particular focus on GVA, GDP, employment and taxes,” said Dr. ShiNa Li, project director, ICRETH. “The results signify a call to action for the industry and present the opportunity to consider the question: ‘What now?’ We have created this incredibly powerful data that clearly defines the meeting industry’s credibility, but it needs to be used effectively as a tool for the benefit of all.”

The full research report is available via the MPI website at www.mpiweb.org/UKEIS.

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