Music and tourism under spotlight

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Experts from Bournemouth University have been commissioned by UK Music to undertake extensive research into the economic impacts of music on the tourism sector.

Staff from the UK university's School of Tourism will assess the importance of music as a driver of tourism in the UK in the project for the umbrella organisation, which represents the collective interests of the UK's commercial music industry. Adam Blake, professor of economics at Bournemouth University, said: "The importance that music plays in the visitor economy is not very well understood. By attracting visitors to festivals and concerts, as well as promoting the UK around the world, music not only provides revenues for event organisers but also brings income and jobs to much wider groups. This research project will provide us with evidence of how important music is to tourism and of the subsequent economic benefits that it brings to the UK. "Academics from the School's International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research will be joined by colleagues from the Centre for Event and Sport Research and Market Research Group to produce two reports by early 2011. The two reports will be:1. Using existing data, an impact assessment of the importance of music as a driver of tourism in the UK2. A proposal detailing the additional data that would be required to inform more a more comprehensive music tourism strategy. Both reports will aim to provide UK Music with evidence of the benefits to businesses as a result of ancillary spending on music and music events. Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of UK Music said: "Music is one of the UK's crown jewels. It is a significant and powerful magnet for both overseas and UK tourists–whether they're attending one of our many music festivals, visiting our music heritage sites or simply drawn by our reputation as the world's pre–eminent music–producing nation. However, we need to quantify our experiences–which is why this research is so important. With the Government looking to tourism as a driver of economic growth, it is vital that we can provide accurate data and look towards building a comprehensive music–tourism strategy. "

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