Boating named as one of the most popular activities amongst tourists during English Tourism Week

Associations, Conferences, Seminars, Forums, Exhibitions, Maritime Tourism, Sailing, Sports, Tourism, Yachting — By on March 9, 2016 at 12:42 PM

British marine logoAccording to a recent report from leading marine industry body British Marine, domestic holidays in England that incorporate boating or watersports are some of the most popular tourism experiences.

Over 75% of Great Britain’s boating tourism experiences1 take place in England and in 2014, over 4 million holidays involving an on the water activity were recorded, representing a 9% share of the total English tourism market.

The research, conducted in conjunction with VisitEngland1, shows that in England, more domestic holidays involved an activity such as sailing, watersports, canal boating and sightseeing trips that included a passenger boat trip than activities such as visiting a museum or historic house or castle:

  • 2, 260, 000 went on a sightseeing trip, including passenger boat trips, contributing £744m to the UK economy
  • 1, 011, 000 took part in a manual watersport, such as kayaking, spending £315m
  •    967, 000 went on a canal boat trip, spending £336m
  •     391, 000 went sailing, spending over £123m
  •     110, 000 took part in a motorised watersport, such as jet-skiing, spending £33m

This market is driven by the boating haven of the South West, which hosts over a third of all English boating tourism holidays, with canal boating in the Midlands, sailing on the Suffolk coast and sightseeing boat trips on the Thames all being named as popular boating tourism destinations and activities.

Alastair Wilson, Senior Researcher at British Marine commented: “It’s fantastic to see that the findings from the “Domestic Boating Tourism Market in Great Britain” report are so positive for boating tourism in England. We are continuing to see our members within the sector experience positive growth for their business. It is great to be able to celebrate these fantastic findings during VisitEngland’s English Tourism Week.”

To find out about the boating and watersports tourism activities in your area visit

1 Most popular boating or watersports activities whilst on domestic holiday in Great Britain includes:

  • Sightseeing trips (including trips by passenger boat and coach) – 3, 054, 000  participants                                                 
  • Manual watersports – 1, 266, 000 participants
  • Canal/boating trips – 1, 100, 000 participants
  • Sailing/yachting – 466, 000 participants
  • Motorised watersports – 164, 000 participants

The data in this report is taken from Visit England’s Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS), which interviews around 100, 000 people in Great Britain each year. This survey collects data on Britons’ activities, accommodation and spending over the course of their holiday, providing detailed data on holidays in England, Scotland and Wales that involved a boating or watersports activity. This report only analyses Visit England GBTS data on explicit holiday travel, not travel for business or visiting friends or relatives that incidentally involved a boating‐related leisure activity.

The activities are as follows:

  • Swimming indoors or outdoors – 4, 000, 000 participants
  • Visiting a museum – 3, 500, 000 participants
  • Visiting a historic house or stately home – 3, 000, 000 participants
  • Visiting a castle or other historic site – 2, 900, 000 participants

The Domestic Boating Tourism Market in Great Britain report provides key statistics for the size and value of domestic boating tourism in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). Boating tourism is defined as recreational activities which involve travel away from one’s place of residence and involve the use of a boat or watersports craft as their focus. Boating tourism is a very diverse segment of the British tourism market, reflecting a wide range of crafts and activities. This report focuses on pure holiday experiences only and report on the core activities that drive these boating holidays: canal boating and other cruising; sailing and yachting; motorised watersports (including jet skis, waterskiing and wakeboarding); manual watersports (including canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and windsurfing); and general sightseeing trips (including trips by coach and passenger boat). In Great Britain, sailing, watersports, canal boating and sightseeing trips (including by coach and passengers boats) are all big attractions for British ‘staycationers’. In 2014 approximately 5.3 million domestic holidays involved a boating or watersports activity, generating almost £1.7bn for the national economy.

British Marine (the trading name of British Marine Federation Limited) is a membership organisation leading the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry. It has over 1, 600 members drawn from both seagoing and inland sectors and represents an industry employing more than 31, 500 people in the UK. For more information about the work of British Marine and how to join, please visit the website:


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

What is 8 + 14 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:


Leave a Trackback