Tourism, food and beverage

Latest Dorset tourism, food and beverage sector insights.

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Tourism, Food and Beverage 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 – click on the occupation bars to reveal salary, automation and education trends. Download a copy of the Tourism, Food and Beverage Dashboard.

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

Sectors Overview

These three sectors contribute £710 million to the Dorset economy marking a 24% growth over the past decade and representing 4% of the overall economy locally. Businesses involved in the sectors employ 35,000 people locally, representing 11% of all employed in Dorset, which significantly exceeds the national average of 8%.

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, for those looking for either casual work or long-term career in hospitality, Dorset’s tourism still offers a range of opportunities.

Check the dashboard for latest occupations and skills in demand.

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

Key Employers

There are around 2,140 businesses involved in accommodation and food services in Dorset, the majority being smaller businesses with fewer than 10 people, but there are also around 55 companies employing more than 50 people locally.

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.