About GBTS and GBDVS

The Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) and Great Britain Day Visits Survey (GBDS) are national consumer surveys produced in adherence with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics (2009). We jointly sponsor the two surveys with VisitScotland and Visit Wales.

About the Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS)

This monthly survey covers overnight trips taken for any purpose, including holidays, business, or visiting friends and relatives. It measures the volume and value of overnight domestic tourism trips taken by Great Britain residents and provides detailed information about trip and visitor characteristics.

Interviewing is carried out face-to-face every week of the year. Annually, some 100,000 respondents are contacted, and any who have returned from an overnight trip within the past four weeks are asked to describe the details of that trip.

The survey was previously known as the United Kingdom Tourism Survey (UKTS), however since January 2011 data about trips taken by Northern Ireland residents has been collected separately. The UKTS has been running since 1989. The current survey methodology started in May 2005, so comparisons with results from earlier years are difficult to make and should be treated with caution.

Results presented from 2011 onwards are based only on residents of Great Britain. Comparisons with previous years using the same geographical coverage are included in monthly and annual deliverables issued for results from January 2011 onwards.

No changes have been made to documents produced from 2005-2010. These consider the whole of the UK, and cannot be directly compared with results from the new Great Britain survey. The Online Data Browser provides results on the same survey base (GB residents) from 2006 onwards, and may be used to draw comparisons over time.

Full details about the survey methodology are included in the latest Methods and Performance Report (PDF, 364KB)

About the Great Britain Day Visits Survey (GBDVS)

The Great Britain Day Visits Survey (GBDVS) uses an online methodology, weekly interviews and an annual sample of c. 35,000 adults in Great Britain.

For this survey, it was important to define 'tourism day visits' in a way that is both measurable and in line with international recommendations. For the Great Britain Day Visits Survey, a 'tourism day visit' trip must:  

  • Involve participation in one of 15 leisure activities;
  • Have lasted at least three hours (including travel);
  • Not be an activity which is undertaken 'very regularly'; and
  • Be in a destination outside the respondent's place of residence (or place of work if this was the start point of the trip). The exceptions to this are trips to special public events, live sporting events and visitor attractions.

Our Annual Survey Reports contain the full details of this definition, as well as details of the volume and value of all leisure trips lasting at least three hours, but did not fulfil the other criteria to be counted as a 'tourism day visit'.

Full details about the survey methodology are included in the latest Methods and Performance Report (PDF, 1295KB)

You can also view a separate report which describes the approach taken to develop the weighting strategy (PDF, 868KB)