The Office for National Statistics (ONS) who are responsible for the International Passenger Survey (IPS) released provisional first estimates for September 2022 on the morning of Tuesday 31st January 2023.
Please find a summary of the 2022 monthly data below and in the monthly summary (PDF, 404KB), which also includes a comparison to 2019.
From January to June 2022, the ONS were unable to restart interviewing at Eurotunnel due to COVID-19 restrictions so data for those travelling via this port is excluded for this time period. In order to make direct comparisons to 2019, Eurotunnel data has been excluded for Jan-Jun 2019. Interviewing at Eurostar was not affected by Covid-19 restrictions between January and June 2022. The ONS restarted IPS interviews at all ports from July 2022.
Explore the latest annual and quarterly data on the 2022 inbound page.
Visits and spend
|Total||September 2022||% change vs. Sep 2019||Last 3 months (Jul-Sep 2022)||% change vs. Jul-Sep 2019||YTD 2022||% change vs. YTD 2022|
Visits: Visits in September 2022 reached 3.0 million, down 10% on September 2019. Visits dipped slightly compared to August 2022 but this follows patterns from pre-COVID 19 with a natural dip after the peak summer period. Between January and September 2022, the UK welcomed 21.2 million inbound visitors.
Spend: Spend was up 1% on September 2019 with inbound visitors spending £2.6m in September 2022. Similar to visits, spend dipped slightly from August, which is a typical pre-COVID 19 pattern. In the 9 months to September 2022, inbound visitors spent £18.4bn (in nominal terms) whilst in the UK.
Visits by journey purpose
|Journey Purpose (Visits - 000)||September 2022||% change vs. Sep 2019||Last 3 months (Jul-Sep 2022)||% change vs. Jul-Sep 2019|
Holiday visits have continued to grow in each month of 2022 through to August but dipped in September 2022 to 1.1 million visits (down 10% on September 2019). Holidays accounted for 39% of all inbound visits. Across the medium term holiday visits remain behind the levels reported in the same period pre-pandemic, in 2019.
There were 1.0 million inbound visits to friends and relatives in September 2022, a new record for this month (up 12% on September 2019). Overall, VFR visits accounted for 35% of all inbound visits in September. Visiting friends and relatives is the only journey purpose that is reporting higher results in September and Q3 2022 vs 2019.
Business was the only journey purpose to see a rise in visits from August to September with 566 million business visits in September 2022. Although business visits peaked in September, they have been the slowest to recover, still 35% behind 2019 levels in September 2022. A similar picture was seen for Q3 2022 vs Q3 2019 as well.
All other visits, under ‘miscellaneous’, which includes study, contributed 209,000 visits in September 2022. Miscellaneous visits tend to be a smaller proportion of all inbound UK visits and results can fluctuate. Compared to 2019 levels these visits remain below pre pandemic levels across the short and medium terms measures presented here.
Visits by global region
|Global Regions (Visits - 000)||September 2022||% change vs. Sep 2019||Last 3 months (Jul-Sep 2022)||% change vs. Jul-Sep 2019|
|Rest of Europe||190||10%||610||-5%|
|Rest of World||480||-43%||1,710||-42%|
In September 2022, visits from Europe continued to grow closer to pre-pandemic levels, reaching 1.8 million visits (8% below September 2019). Visits for the Jul-Sep 2022 were 15% below 2019 levels, reporting 6.1 million visits.
For North America, despite visits falling in August and September from the peak in July, both months reported the highest visits on record at 717,000 and 648,000 visits respectively. Visits from North America surpassed 2019 levels in the 3 months to September 2022 at 2.2 million visits (up 24% on Jul-Sep 2019).
There were 480,000 visits from the Rest of the World in September 2022. Visits from this region remain just above half of the levels reported in the comparable measures in 2019.
Please visit the ONS website for more information.