The value of the Purple Pound

The purple pound is the spending power of disabled people.

VisitBritain/VisitEngland has estimated the value of the purple pound to the tourism industry by adding a question regarding health conditions and impairments to the three main tourism surveys. The data gathered allows us to look at both the volume and value of the accessible tourism market and uncover interesting trends.

All data relates to trips in England only.

Total spend

  • The total expenditure generated by those with an impairment or those travelling within a group where a member had an impairment is estimated to be £15.2 billion
  • Inbound visitor spending by this group was £0.4 billion in 2018 
  • Domestic overnight visitor spending by this group was £3.2 billion in 2015 
  • Day visitor spending by this group was £11.6 billion in 2018.

Contribution to tourism - volume

Trips taken by those with an impairment and their travelling companions made up:

  • 1.9% of all inbound trips in 2018
  • 15% of domestic overnight trips in 2015
  • 20% of day visits in 2018.

Contribution to tourism - spend

The spend from trips taken by those with an impairment and their travelling companions made up:

  • 2.2% of all inbound trip spending in 2018
  • 16% of domestic overnight trip spending in 2015
  • 20% of day visit spending in 2018.

Average spend

  • The average spend per inbound visit was £605 for all trips, compared to £689 for trips taken by those with an impairment and their travelling companions.
  • The average spend per domestic overnight trip was £191 for all trips, compared to £210 for trips taken by those with an impairment and their travelling companions.

Average length of stay

  • The average length of stay per inbound visit was 7.1 nights for all trips, compared to 11.6 nights for trips taken by those with an impairment and their travelling companions.
  • The average length of stay per domestic overnight trip was 2.9 nights for all trips, compared to 3.3 nights for trips taken by those with an impairment and their travelling companions.

Age of traveller

  • Those aged over 65 made up 7% of all inbound visits, compared to 39% of trips taken by those with an impairment and their travelling companions.
  • Those aged over 65 made up 16% of all domestic overnight trips, compared to 35% of trips taken by those with an impairment and their travelling companions.
  • Those aged over 65 made up 17% of all day visits, compared to 26% of day visits taken by those with an impairment and their travelling companions.

The data presented on this page is taken from the following three surveys: Great Britain Day Visitor Survey 2018, Great Britain Tourism Survey 2015 and International Passenger Survey 2018.