Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

Latest Dorset's visitor economy insights.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Dashboard

Dorset offers its residents and guests a unique natural and cultural environment. Half the region is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, home to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site and boasting miles of award-winning beaches. There is no surprise the county is a popular destination for an average of 2.9 million trips each year, 11 million overnight stays, and supporting £557 million in tourism-related spend (Visit Britain, 2017-19).

Explore the interactive dashboard below to reveal salary, automation and occupation trends. Download a copy of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Dashboard.

Click on the arrow at the right-hand corner to view the dashboard in full and scroll through the pages.

Sectors Overview

These sectors contribute £2.2 billion to the Dorset economy marking a 54% growth over the past decade and representing 12% of the overall economy locally. Businesses involved in the sectors employ 82,000 people locally, representing 24% of all employed in Dorset, which exceeds the national average.

Career Prospects

Given that many of the businesses have been in complete lockdown during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic with most premises having to close doors for extensive periods, these industries have taken a serious hit through the crisis. Yet, the sectors recovered remarkably in Dorset and have seen the biggest growth in demand over 2021-22 and offer a great opportunity for those looking for either casual work or long-term career.

Explore catering and hospitality career pathways and career prospects in hospitality and events and career prospects in leisure and tourism.

Key Employers

The County is home to a number of high-profile businesses providing services and attractions locally and offering job opportunities. Check the dashboard for the employers currently hiring, or directly visit key employer websites below.

Learning Opportunities

In 2018/19, there were around 200 apprenticeship starts and completions in leisure, travel and tourism.

Browse apprenticeship opportunities in catering and hospitality near you

All local colleges offer tourism-related courses such as hospitality and catering at Bournemouth and Poole College and Weymouth College. Kingston Maurward College's outdoor courses may lead to tourism-related opportunities such as those involving outdoor adventure.

Bournemouth University also offers internationally recognised Bournemouth University undergraduate, Bournemouth University postgraduate and short courses in Tourism, Hospitality and Events.

You can also develop your leisure, health and wellbeing skills with Adult Community Education in Dorset.