This sector contributed £608.5m (GVA) to the Somerset economy in 2016, roughly 5.4% of all economic output in the county. In proportional terms this is roughly identical (0.99 times) to the contribution it makes at the national level. At the lower-tier local authority area the GVA contribution is spread fairly evenly across each area; 22% from South Somerset (£132.4m), 22% from Taunton Deane (£133.5m), 20% from Mendip (£119.7m), 20% from Sedgemoor (£124.5m), and the remaining 16% from West Somerset (£98.4). However, considered in proportional terms, this sector is far larger in West Somerset than any other area, where it contributes 12.9% of all economic output, roughly 2.4 times the national average.
Tourist industries accounted for more than 19,500 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in Somerset in 2016, roughly 8.7% of all jobs. As with economic output, this is proportionally similar (1.03 times) to the contribution of the sector at the national level. These jobs are spread fairly evenly across the lower-tier authority areas in Somerset, but in proportional terms this makes for a far greater concentration of employment in West Somerset. In 2016, 26% of all jobs in West Somerset were in the tourist industries, more than 3 times the national average.
Productivity in the tourist industries is typically quite low, due largely to the lower wages commanded by this sector (e.g. hospitality). In 2016 productivity in the sector was £31,130 in Somerset, which is just 62% of the average productivity for the county of £50,460. Nationally, productivity in this sector is 19% higher at £37,030, which is bigger than the 14% gap in overall productivity. Productivity in this sector varies across the lower-tier authority areas in Somerset, but is lowest in West Somerset (£28,319) and highest in Taunton Deane (£34,900).
Source: Economic Model for Somerset and the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership, 2018