Nature contributes over £22 billion to the UK economy through tourism and outdoor leisure activities every year, representing 1% of UK GDP.
This is the headline finding from our recently completed work for Defra and the ONS as part of their ongoing programme on national natural capital accounts. Producing the accounts required developing an innovative approach to apportion the overall tourism expenditure to ecosystems and spatially disaggregate this share.
While experimental, the results highlight the dependence of tourism, which is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors globally, on nature. Findings will support public and private sector decisions about sustaining the tourism sector and maintaining / enhancing natural capital.