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Over five million visitors via Gatwick spent £4.7 billion in the UK



Five and a half million foreign visitors arrived in the UK via Gatwick in 2017 – spending 40.3 million nights in the country, contributing £4.7 billion to GDP and supporting 93,000 jobs – according to a new Oxford Economics report on the airport’s impact on the ‘Visitor Economy’ published today.

In addition, £1.2 billion was added to the UK Exchequer – enough to cover the salaries of 46,000 nurses or 36,000 teachers – through taxes on transactions, wages and profits generated by businesses serving these overseas visitors.

The report, commissioned by the Gatwick Growth Board, also shows that the UK economy receives a £200 million GDP, 4000 job boost every time 100,000 more passengers from Asia arrive at Gatwick – highlighting the importance of the airport’s recent new routes to Hong Kong, Chongqing, Tianjin and Taipei, with other new routes to Asia expected soon.

Passengers visiting from Asia are shown to spend an average £1185 per visit – compared to the £705 overall average – with those arriving from USA (£1021), Australia (£1047) and the ‘Rest of Americas’ (£1117) also spending considerably more.

The report formed the basis of three roundtables – hosted by the Gatwick Growth Board – where national, regional and local stakeholders discussed how Gatwick can grow its contribution to both national, regional and local economies.

The report’s special analysis shows that just over half (56%) of foreign visitors’ overnight stays were in London, a quarter (24%) were across the South East region, with the rest spread around the rest of the UK – boosting spending through airfares, taxis, rail tickets, hotel stays, restaurant meals, retail purchase and visits to leisure and cultural attractions.

Overseas visitors however are only part of Gatwick’s visitor economy as 1.6 million visitors arrived from other parts of UK last year – spending 5.2 million nights – and contributed £588 million to GDP and 12,700 jobs.  These visitors were principally from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Other findings:

  • More than four fifths of visitors were from Europe – with Spain, Italy and France the top three origin countries – followed by USA
  • Around a fifth of visitors from Germany, Denmark, Holland and Ireland came on business
  • Visitors from Africa (15 nights), Australia (13), Asia (13) and Canada (12) stayed the longest (on average)

Steve Norris, Gatwick Growth Board Co-Chair said:

“As a vital piece of UK infrastructure, Gatwick provides a significant contribution to local, regional and national economies and this report shows that this still has room to grow – both in terms of the number of inbound passengers and the value of each visit. 

“As Gatwick continues to grow, it is our job as the Growth Board to ensure the benefits it brings to the economy are felt, not just nationally, but also by the airport’s regional and local neighbours and these roundtables have provided plenty of positive ideas as to how.”

Baroness Tessa Jowell, Gatwick Growth Board Co-Chair said:

“This report shows just how valuable long-haul visitors arriving through Gatwick are to the UK. The airport already offers over 60 long haul routes but securing more to North and South America, and to Asia, will bring even more high value visitors into the UK economy; growing connections to these markets should be an integral part of Gatwick’s future strategy.”  

Steve Ridgway, Chair of VisitBritain, said:

“Gatwick is an important gateway to the UK and plays a vital role in the country’s thriving visitor economy. Inbound tourism will continue to be a vital component of the UK economy after we’ve left the European Union and VisitBritain welcomes the Gatwick Growth Board’s efforts to secure and grow the airport’s future contribution.“

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Criminals beware, Project Servator has launched at Gatwick and it WILL spot you!

Unpredictable, that’s the key word for the project launched at Gatwick Airport for the first time, ensuring that security checks are performed without any notice.



In this day and age we all feel a sense of safety whenever we see a police patrol going about their business.  None more so than at an airport.

“deter, detect and disrupt hostile reconnaissance”

Now Gatwick has gone one step further and adopted the national project Servator that has performed so well up and down the country.

Inspector James Biggs from the Gatwick Police Prevention Team explained:

“Project Servator is a project initiated by the city of London police that has now gone nationwide including railway stations and airports.

It’s designed to deter, detect and disrupt the hostile reconnaissance coming to the airport and places of interest.  That’s all levels of criminality from shoplifters to terrorists.

The project has been live nationwide for a number of a years which is why we adopted it here.”

But what is it?

The aim is be as unpredictable as possible and run security checks utilising all arms of the available resources available to the police, from uniformed to plain clothed and armed officers.  Additionally the use of dogs and the sophisticated CCTV and number plate recognition software all combine to create the airports very own ring of steel.

The officers have been specially trained to detect people who may come to the airport and act in a different manner.  Something not easy in an environment as busy as Gatwick where the people change every single hour and day.

But it is not just within the airport buildings that the project is undertaken.

Road checkpoints have also been set up ensuring that if anyone even thinks about getting close to the airport for wrong reasons then they will have no choice but to come face to face with the police.

Whilst the whole project is all about being unpredictable and therefore catching out would-be criminals, there is an additional side that could be witnessed first hand while watching the officers in action.

Smiles on the faces of passengers.

The very presence, the interaction and the belief that Gatwick is showing that safety is of paramount importance to all who both work and travel through the airport.

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