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Migrant Labour force within the tourism industry: August 2019 ONS

The ONS has published a report about migrant employment in the UK tourism industry which provides considerable insights into the industry’s reliance on EU nationals and will be useful in responding to the Government’s Immigration White paper.

A lot of the figures are very similar to those published previously by both People 1st and the ONS but there is a very interesting Longitudinal study series which follows changes in tourism workers since 1991. Some of the highlights of the research are:

  • 84% of people working in the sector are British, with 10% from the EU and 6% from other countries – this means that there are 321,000 EU nationals working in the UK tourism industry
  • 50% of workers in the tourism industry are under the age of 35
  • However, 27% of British workers in the sector are under 25 while only 17% of EU workers are under 25. This is a result of a large number of UK students working in the sector.
  • 74% of UK workers leave the industry while only 60% of EU workers leave the industry (again, a result of higher levels of British students working in the industry). Interestingly, the number of EU nationals with degrees working in the sector is significantly higher which could partially be result of EU nationals coming to the UK and working in the sector while looking for a job in their career field.
  • London is the hub of the UK tourism industry with 22.5% of all tourism workers in England being located there. The London tourism industry is also particularly dependent upon non-British nationals with only 18% of British Tourism industry workers being located there, while 43% of the EU tourism industry workers (138,000 people) being located there alongside a similar number of non-EU workers.

See the whole report here:


Migrant Labour force within the tourism industry: August 2019  ONS