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  • Writer's pictureSophie Andrews - Editorial Assistant

London Gatwick Could Support More Than 28,000 New Jobs Through Tourism

London Gatwick could support more than 28,000 additional jobs across the UK, through a 61% increase in inbound tourism, if its Northern Runway plans are approved.  

The airport is proposing to bring its existing Northern Runway into regular use alongside its Main Runway – plans which would facilitate a significant increase in inbound tourism to London, the South East and the UK more widely.  

A report by Oxford Economics highlights that international visitors arriving via Gatwick are likely to increase from 5.6m in 2019 to 9m in 2038, 1.6m more than without the Northern Runway.  

By 2038, this uplift in tourism would also generate £8.74billion of Gross Value Added (GVA) through increased spending of international visitors, amounting to nearly £2 billion more than without the Northern Runway development. 

As a result of increasing numbers of international visitors, there will be 130,700 jobs by 2038, both directly and indirectly supported by Gatwick-facilitated tourism. This compares to the 84,100 jobs in 2019, and 28,700 more than without the Northern Runway. 

Under London Gatwick’s plans, regular use of the Northern Runway for departures will increase the airport’s capacity, seeing throughput increase to around 75.6m passengers and 382,000 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) in 2038, and around 80.2m passengers and 386,000 ATMs per year in 2047. Many of these additional slots would support long-haul services from high-spending markets such as the USA, Middle East and Asia.  

Alison Addy, Head of External Engagement and Policy, London Gatwick said: “With inbound visitors to the UK forecast to reach 37.5million this year – and a significant proportion of these travelling to London and the South East - it’s clear the significant contribution London Gatwick plays in supporting the thriving tourism industry, alongside local, regional and national economies. "

“Businesses and individuals associated with the tourism industry – from family-run B&Bs and independent taxi drivers, to major tourist attractions and hotel chains – already benefit from having London Gatwick facilitating visitors from around the world."

“We are confident that by bringing our existing Northern Runway into regular use – and by offering more global connections – we can further boost this vital part of our local, regional and national economies, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs the tourism industry supports.” 

Gavin Stewart, Executive Director, Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership said: “The addition of the Northern Runway at London Gatwick brings with it an opportunity for our region to capitalise significantly on the increase in inbound tourists.  The South East has so much to offer. From days out on the coast to exploring the National Park, to wine tourism, fascinating market towns and thrilling city experiences. Our unique heritage offer, attractions, hospitality and retail can only benefit from the uplift, helping the region to remain competitive and sustainable over the next decade and beyond.” 

Fran Downton, Chief Executive, Tourism South East said: “The long-term sustainable development of London Gatwick plays a fundamental part in the economic prosperity of the region. The growth plans for the Northern Runway will inevitably support and drive the visitor sector, its businesses, its employment, and the green agenda to the benefit of the South East.”

London Gatwick is investing in its long-term future and its planning application to bring the airport’s Northern Runway into regular use has recently been accepted for detailed examination by the Planning Inspectorate. This low-impact plan will improve resilience, reduce delays, and provide a significant boost to the national and regional economy by supporting trade, tourism, and new jobs.  

Members of the public, including local residents and other stakeholders, have until 23:59 on 29 October 2023 to register with the Planning Inspectorate and provide a summary of their views on the airport’s application.   


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