Inbound Tourism In Britain – Who’s Winning?

tourist statistics uk

Tourists from all over the world flock to just about every corner of the UK, and the numbers are steadily increasing with each year that goes by.

Whether travellers are visiting for a day, for a few weeks or even longer, we can't deny how important tourism is to the UK in terms of economic stability and overall growth.

But finally, the figures are here! Visit Britain have carried out a detailed survey
regarding tourists visiting the UK in 2017 and we're here to tell you about it.

Click here to find out more about the methodology of the 2017 survey.

So, which region is contributing most financially? Does the British weather play a part? Who has seen the biggest increase in visitors and why? All of these questions will be answered!

You may use the interactive map below to visit your desired region.



SCOTLAND

​Scotland is the most northern part of Great Britain - well known traditions include dancing, celebrations at the start of a new year and the Highland Games.

There is a vast array of beautiful scenery throughout the country, including mountains (Ben Nevis being the highest in GB), lakes (better known as lochs, including the famous Loch Ness), valleys (traditionally known as glens) and forests.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding Scotland along with individual
figures for 11 of the counties below.

Number
of visits

3.21 million

Total
expenditure (£)

£2.28 billion

Total nights spent

24.4 million

Average length of stay

7.6

Average spend per visit (£)

£709

What Were The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting Scotland?


Holiday

1.86 million

Visiting Family/Relative

776,871

Business

505,154

Most popular time of year to visit?

27 %
April - June

Other interesting statistics...

4-7 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students - 33,054
  • Ayrshire & Arran
  • Dumfries & Galloway
  • Dundee & Angus
  • Fife
  • Grampian
  • Gtr Glasgow, Clyde Valley
  • Highlands & Islands
  • L. Lom, Stir, Tross, Argyle
  • Lothian inc. Edinburgh
  • Perthshire
  • Scottish Borders

Number
of
visits

21,053

Total
expenditure (£)

£5.54 million

Total
nights
spent

59,333

Average length
of stay

2.82

Average spend per
visit (£)

£263

Most popular time of year to visit?

July - September

Most popular reason to visit?

Holiday

Most popular amount of time to stay?

8-14 Nights

*Average length of stay calculated in nights.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Ireland is well known for its cultural customs and traditions including it's language, music, literature, art, food, folklore and passion for sports.

A large majority of Northern Ireland is agricultural land, and it boasts a long and wonderful coast. One of the most famous sights in Northern Ireland is the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding Northern Ireland tourism below.

Number
of visits

445,604

Total
expenditure (£)

£214.47 mil

Total nights spent

2.38 million

Average length of stay

5.35

Average spend per visit (£)

£481

*Average length of stay calculated in nights.

What Were The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting Scotland?


Visiting Family/Relative

195,244

Holiday

119,637

Business

83,873

Most popular time of year to visit?

31 %
July - September

Other interesting statistics...

4-7 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students - 0

NORTH EAST

The North East of England covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, as well as the former county of Cleveland now in North Yorkshire.

This part of the country is well known for it's strong industrial background including the manufacture of plastics and nylon, iron, steel, salt and glass.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding The North East of England
including it's 4 counties.

Number
of visits

556,132

Total
expenditure (£)

£241.26 mil

Total nights spent

5.03 million

Average length of stay

9.04

Average spend per visit (£)

£434

What Were The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting The North East?


Visiting Family/Relative

237,467

Business

152,613

Holiday

138,296

Most popular time of year to visit?

35 %
July - September

Other interesting statistics...

1-3 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students - 16,298
  • Durham
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • TEES VALLEY/CLEVELAND
  • Tyne & Wear

Number
of
visits

369,600

Total
expenditure (£)

£153.53 mil

Total
nights
spent

2.94 million

Average length
of stay

7.94

Average spend per
visit (£)

£415

Most popular time of year to visit?

July - September

Most popular reason to visit?

Visiting Family/Relatives

Most popular amount of time to stay?

1-3 Nights

*Average length of stay calculated in nights.

NORTH WEST

The North West of England is the third-most populated region in the UK, after the South East and Greater London.

The well known features in the North West are the Lake District and the Cheshire Plain. The highest point in North West England (and the highest peak in England) is Scafell Pike,
Cumbria, at a height of 3,209 ft.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding The North West of England
including it's 5 counties.

Number
of
visits

102,472

Total
expenditure
(£)

£43.59 mil

Total
nights
spent

1.22 million

Average
length of
stay

11.91

Average spend per
visit (£)

£425

The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting The North West.


Visiting Family/Relative

237,467

Business

152,613

Holiday

138,296

Most popular time of year to visit?

29 %
July - September

Other interesting statistics...

1-3 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students - 33,350
  • CHESHIRE
  • cumbria
  • greater manchester
  • LANCASHIRE
  • merseyside

Number
of
visits

910,772

Total
expenditure (£)

£378.89 mil

Total
nights
spent

4.08 million

Average length
of stay

4.48

Average spend per
visit (£)

£416

Most popular time of year to visit?

April - June

Most popular reason to visit?

Holiday

Most popular amount of time to stay?

1-3 Nights

*Average length of stay calculated in nights.

YORKSHIRE & THE HUMBER

Yorkshire and the Humber is one of nine official regions in England.

It comprises most of Yorkshire (South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North Yorkshire and York), as well as North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding Yorkshire & The Humber
including it's 6 counties.

Number
of
visits

1.34 million

Total
expenditure
(£)

£567.22 mil

Total
nights
spent

10.29 mil

Average
length
of stay

7.67

Average spend per
visit (£)

£423

The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting Yorkshire.


Visiting Family/Relative

528,569

Holiday

368,666

Business

364,495

Most popular time of year to visit?

35 %
July - September

Other interesting statistics...

1-3 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students - 22,481
  • east yorkshire
  • HULL UA
  • NORTH YORKSHIRE
  • NORTHERN LINCOLNSHIRE
  • SOUTH YORKSHIRE
  • WEST YORKSHIRE

Number
of
visits

492,697

Total
expenditure
(£)

£197.80 mil

Total
nights
spent

3.28 mil

Average
length
of stay

6.66

Average spend per
visit (£)

£401

Most popular time of year to visit?

July - September

Most popular reason to visit?

Visiting Family/Relatives

Most popular amount of time to stay?

1-3 Nights

*Average length of stay calculated in nights.

EAST MIDLANDS

The East Midlands is one of nine official regions of England. The eastern part of the
Midlands consists of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire (except North and North East Lincolnshire), Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.

The East Midlands is home to large quantities of limestone and the famous Charnwood Forest is well known for it's levels of volcanic rock, estimated to be around 600 million years old.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding the East Midlands including it's 5 counties.

Number
of
visits

1.28 million

Total
expenditure
(£)

£443.62 mil

Total
nights
spent

9.8 mil

Average
length
of stay

7.65

Average spend per
visit (£)

£346

The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting The East Midlands.


Visiting Family/Relative

555,311

Business

442,418

Holiday

226,450

Most popular time of year to visit?

30 %
July - September

Other interesting statistics...

1-3 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students - 14,094
  • derbyshire
  • LEICESTERSHIRE
  • LINCOLNSHIRE
  • NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
  • NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

Number
of
visits

341,294

Total
expenditure
(£)

£125.15 mil

Total
nights
spent

3.01 mil

Average
length
of stay

8.81

Average spend per
visit (£)

£367

Most popular time of year to visit?

April - June

Most popular reason to visit?

Visiting Family/Relatives

Most popular amount of time to stay?

4-7 Nights

*Average length of stay calculated in nights.

WEST MIDLANDS

The West Midlands is a metropolitan county and city region in western England with a 2014 estimated population of 2,808,356, making it the second highest populated county in
England

West Midlands is an eclectic mix of town and country including Birmingham’s city
attractions, charming small towns and quaint villages full of character and open spaces
allowing visitors to get away from it all and enjoy the best of the scenic English countryside.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding the West Midlands including it's 4 counties.

Number
of
visits

2.32 million

Total
expenditure
(£)

£806.94 mil

Total
nights
spent

14.16 mil

Average
length
of stay

6.1

Average spend per
visit (£)

£348

The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting The West Midlands.


Business

916,038

Visiting Friends/Relatives

822,983

Holiday

496,937

Most popular time of year to visit?

29 %
July - September

Other interesting statistics...

1-3 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students - 24,919
  • HEREFORD & WORCESTER
  • SHROPSHIRE
  • STAFFORDSHIRE
  • WARWICKSHIRE

Number
of
visits

392,963

Total
expenditure
(£)

£145.01 mil

Total
nights
spent

2.46 mil

Average
length
of stay

6.26

Average spend per
visit (£)

£369

Most popular time of year to visit?

July - September

Most popular reason to visit?

Visiting Family/Relatives

Most popular amount of time to stay?

1-3 Nights

*Average length of stay calculated in nights.

EAST OF ENGLAND

The East of England is the most eastern region of England and indeed of the entire UK.

The area is historically a rural region of small capitals, market towns and small picturesque
villages. The character of the flattish landscape has been heavily influenced by the people that live on it transforming marshland into fertile farmland, and the ancient excavations that resulted in the waterways of Norfolk's Broads.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding the East of England including it's 6 counties.

Number
of
visits

2.41 million

Total
expenditure
(£)

£815.20 mil

Total
nights
spent

16.09 mil

Average
length
of stay

6.68

Average spend per
visit (£)

£339

The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting The East of England.


Visiting Friends/Relatives

1.09 million

Business

616,750

Holiday

537,487

Most popular time of year to visit?

31 %
July - September

Other interesting statistics...

1-3 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students - 33,252
  • BEDFORDSHIRE
  • CAMBRIDGESHIRE
  • ESSEX
  • HERTFORDSHIRE
  • NORFOLK
  • SUFFOLK

Number
of
visits

225,114

Total
expenditure
(£)

£63.57 mil

Total
nights
spent

1.51 mil

Average
length
of stay

6.73

Average spend per
visit (£)

£282

Most popular time of year to visit?

July - September

Most popular reason to visit?

Visiting Family/Relatives

Most popular amount of time to stay?

1-3 Nights

*Average length of stay calculated in nights.

LONDON

The capital city of London boasts a wealth of culture and history, did you know that 3000 languages are spoken throughout Greater London?

London is known for the London Eye, Big Ben & The Millennium Dome as well as being known for it's traditional big red buses, black cabs and endless amounts of pigeons.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding Greater London.

Number
of
visits

19.83 million

Total
expenditure
(£)

£13.55 bil

Total
nights
spent

114.02 mil

Average
length
of stay

5.75

Average spend per
visit (£)

£683

*Average length of stay calculated in nights.

The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting London.


Holiday

10.05 million

Visiting Friends/Relatives

4.99 million

Business

3.52 million

Most popular time of year to visit?

27 %
April - June

Other interesting statistics...

1-3 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students - 175,880

SOUTH EAST

South East England is the sunniest region in the UK.

It's entire section of coastline averages more than 1,600 sunshine hours per year and more than 7 hours per day during the summer months.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding the South East of England and the 9 counties.

Number
of
visits

5.32 million

Total
expenditure
(£)

£2.14 bil

Total
nights
spent

38.60 mil

Average
length
of stay

7.26

Average spend per
visit (£)

£402

The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting The South East.


Visiting Friends/Relatives

2.08 million

Holiday

1.62 million

Business

1.18 million

Most popular time of year to visit?

34 %
July - September

Other interesting statistics...

1-3 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students - 93,296
  • BERKSHIRE
  • BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
  • EAST SUSSEX
  • HAMPSHIRE
  • ISLE OF WIGHT
  • KENT
  • OXFORDSHIRE
  • SURREY
  • WEST SUSSEX

Number
of
visits

646,990

Total
expenditure
(£)

£175.88 mil

Total
nights
spent

2.96 mil

Average
length
of stay

4.58

Average spend per
visit (£)

£272

Most popular time of year to visit?

July - September

Most popular reason to visit?

Visiting Family/Relatives

Most popular amount of time to stay?

1-3 Nights

*Average length of stay calculated in nights.

SOUTH WEST

The South West of England has the largest area of all regions reaching from Gloucestershire and Wiltshire to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Agriculture and tourism are the important industries of the region and mining of tin and copper were formerly crucial in Devon and Cornwall.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding the South West of England and the 7 counties.

Number
of
visits

2.58 million

Total
expenditure
(£)

£1.21 bil

Total
nights
spent

20.73 mil

Average
length
of stay

8.02

Average spend per
visit (£)

£466

The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting The South West.


Holiday

1.09 million

Visiting Family/Relatives

998,037

Business

392,151

Most popular time of year to visit?

37 %
July - September

Other interesting statistics...

4-7 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students - 48,113
  • BRISTOL
  • CORNWALL & SCILLIES
  • DEVON
  • DORSET
  • GLOUCESTERSHIRE
  • SOMERSET
  • WILTSHIRE

Number
of
visits

314,591

Total
expenditure
(£)

£105.54 mil

Total
nights
spent

1.96 mil

Average
length
of stay

6.23

Average spend per
visit (£)

£335

Most popular time of year to visit?

July - September

Most popular reason to visit?

Holiday

Most popular amount of time to stay?

4-7 Nights

WALES

Wales, also known as Cymru, is one of the prettiest parts of the United Kingdom and also well-known for its rich history and culture.

Did you know, only 21% of the entire Welsh population of Wales can speak the native
language and it also believed that the country has more castles per square mile than
anywhere else in the entire world.

Take a look at a range of interesting statistics regarding the country of Wales along all of it's 22 counties.

Number
of
visits

1.08 million

Total
expenditure
(£)

£368.76 mil

Total
nights
spent

6.89 mil

Average
length
of stay

6.39

Average spend per
visit (£)

£342

The Top 3 Reasons For Visiting Wales.


Holiday

427,739

Visiting Family/Relatives

358,234

Business

163,797

Most popular time of year to visit?

38 %
July - September

Other interesting statistics...

1-3 nights (most popular duration of stay).
Students -7,452
  • Anglesey
  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Bridgend
  • Caerphilly
  • Cardiff
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Cerdigion
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Flintshire
  • Gwynedd
  • Merthyr Tudfil
  • Monmouthshire
  • Neath & Port Talbot
  • Newport
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Powys
  • Rhondda Cynon Taff
  • Swansea
  • Torfaen
  • Vale Of Glamorgan
  • Wrexham

Number
of
visits

33,859

Total
expenditure
(£)

£5.87 mil

Total
nights
spent

169,101

Average
length
of stay

4.99

Average spend per
visit (£)

£174

Most popular time of year to visit?

July - September

Most popular reason to visit?

Visiting Family/Relatives

Most popular amount of time to stay?

8-14 Nights

*Average length of stay calculated in nights.

An important note about the survey's methodology

Visitors who spend at least one night in the UK during their trip are asked where they stayed. This information can then be aggregated to look at the number of visits, nights, and spending in
different regions, cities, and towns.

  • Information at the regional level is often based on very small sample sizes, and as such should be treated with extreme caution, and used solely as an indicative estimate. The International Passenger Survey is a national survey, and is not designed to be statistically robust at the regional level.
  • Visitors often spend nights in more than one location during their trip. This means that when looking at ‘visits’ values for different regions will not sum to the national total – for example a visitor from the US making a single visit to the UK could be counted as making a ‘staying visit’ to London, to Edinburgh and to Chester.
  • The data includes a ‘Total UK’ category, representing the true national total for visits.
  • ‘Double counting’ is not an issue when looking at visitor nights or spending.
  • No information is recorded about where visitors arriving/departing the UK on the same day travel during their trip, nor is information recorded about where ‘staying visitors’ go for ‘day trips’. If a visitor from France spends four nights in Edinburgh they may take a day trip to St Andrews and another to Stirling, but this information will not be recorded in the International Passenger Survey.
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