Scale ; significance to UK economy ; consumer spending in the UK on leisure product and services

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Last updated: April 21, 2019

Any industry such as the leisure industry has an impact on a national economy in that it circulates money and employs people who in turn spend their wages. Knowledge of this impact is not just of statistical interest but has real practical importance for three reasons.- It identifies where there are shortages or over-supply of provision.

This allows the private sector to seek out new markets, while other sectors and facilities. For example, pub-drinking sales are declining so the breweries are turning to bars and clubs. In the sportswear industry manufacturers know that the market is turning away from trainers to outdoor sports footwear.- It supports the case for the importance of the industry and its impact on the economy. Most grant aid decisions involve consideration of the effect of a sector or project on the local economy. In deprived areas of the country leisure has been used both to reduce unemployment and increase income. One of the major claims of the countryside alliance in their support for the minority leisure pursuit of fox hunting is that the sport supports a huge rural economy.

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– It allows us to estimate the needs for the supply of labour and the training required to improve the standards of service to the industry. Most national training organisations are currently running surveys to measure the workforce so that they can plan training courses.Consumer spending: overall leisure spending is estimated by Mintel to have risen from£49.1 billion in 1994 to £57.5 billion in 1997 and to £60.3 billion in 1999.

One way of measuring the economic impact is to look at the average household expenditure for which there is long-term data. Since 1968 leisure services and goods have increased more than any other sector of household expenditure due mainly to the service sector. The proportion of household expenditure spent on leisure goods has remained much the same.It is the service sector that has largely accounted for the growth in leisure. The growth of pay TV, visitor attractions, spectator sports and sports/health clubs has meant that there are more opportunities to spend money in the service sector, resulting in substantial growth in household expenditure. The major part of growth is accounted for by the growth of holiday expenses, which accounted for 44% of leisure expenditure in 1998 compared with 2% arts and admissions, 6% sports admissions and fees, 9% TV charges and 9% gambling.

The areas, which the big players in the industry are really interested in these days, are:- Ten-pin bowling, which will be increasingly be linked with family entertainment centres.- Gambling- Nightclubs and bars, which are replacing pubs.- Health and fitness clubs and tennis centres which will eat into the public sector provision of team-based recreation in particular.The major expansion in consumer spending has been CD’s but a new temporary surge has been minidisks and DVD’s. Also consumer spending on computers continues to expand.Reading is a national pastime, which is growing rapidly with an estimated sales growth of books and magazines between 1996 and 2000 of 9.3%.

Mainly male reading has increased the magazine readership. These include reading FHM, Loaded, GQ, Men’s Health and Esquire. These have all had an impact on the magazine market.Also three out of the six most read magazines were TV guides.

Sky TV guide is the most popular read by 12 % of adults. This reflects our love of TV and radio.Expenditure on leisure provision by all authorities in England and Wales.Local authority arts and leisure in 1999 – 2000.

The 410 local authorities together will have spent in total £2066 million on leisure provision. The pie chart above gives the proportions spent on the various sectors.

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