West country tourism is the biggest sector for job growth

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One of the West country’s biggest employment sectors, tourism, has been recognised by the Office for National Statistics as doubling the UK’s job-growth trend.

Overall, tourism jobs have increased by 5.4% between 2009 and 2013, compared to 2.4% for jobs unrelated to tourism.

The biggest increase is in self-employment in the sector (21.9%), with a rise of 8.8% in jobs among food and drinks services, and 7.1% in accommodation jobs

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Will Hanbury, head of the tourism team at accountants, Bishop Fleming said: "Without doubt, those national figures hide a much bigger message for the West country, where tourism is a huge contributor to the regional economy.

Commenting on the Cut Tourism VAT campaign from the BHA, Hanbury continued: "Right now, the West country’s tourism providers are coping with the need for a total rethink of our traditional seaside product, and many providers are coming up with magnificent solutions. But those providers are competing on unfair terms with Continental rivals, who have far better transport links and lower VAT rates.”

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