State of the UK Leisure Industry: A Driver for Growth

This report, commissioned by Business in Sport and Leisure (BISL) and researched and prepared by Oliver Wyman, sets out for the first time a comprehensive picture of the economic size, scale and importance of the Leisure Industry in the United Kingdom.

Until now, the Leisure Industry has not been adequately or authoritatively defined. In fact, even the UK government has acknowledged in a parliamentary answer given in March 2012 that it is not able to provide a clear definition of the Leisure Industry. 

The report reveals the clear economic value of the UK Leisure Industry that:

  • Generates over £200 billion of revenue a year, when accounting for direct contributions (£117 billion) and indirect contributions (£102 billion)
  • Provides 2.6 million jobs, representing 9% of the workforce, employing more people than the Manufacturing, Transport, Construction or Financial Serives sectors
  • Supports a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (66% of the Industry) and fosters a strong business start-up rate (20% higher than the UK average)


This report contains 5 sections. Sections 1-3 are contributions from Oliver Wyman; they propose a definition for the Leisure Industry, emphasize its size, scale and importance and highlight some challenges and headwinds it is facing today. Sections 4-5 are contributions from BISL; they put forward a set of 12 recommendations for government using the research in the earlier sections as a basis for proposed policy change.  More information about the British Leisure Industry is available at BISL's website:

State of the UK Leisure Industry: A Driver for Growth