GB Tourism Survey: archive

The Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) is a monthly national consumer survey measuring the volume and value of domestic overnight tourism trips taken by residents of Great Britain for any reason. It also provides detailed information about trip and visitor characteristics. Results from previous years of the survey are available on this archive page.

GBTS and UKTS previous years annual reports

Below is the annual data for the Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) and United Kingdom Tourism Survey (UKTS) dating back to 2005. 

Methodological details

Results from 2005-2010 consider the whole of the UK, and are not directly comparable with the current GBTS, which considers residents of Great Britain only.

Results from 2011 are from the current GBTS. 

GB / UK Tourist annual reports

Great Britain Tourism Survey 2014

Domestic Tourism Overview 2014

2014 Performance Summary 

In 2014, British residents took 92.6 million overnight trips in England, totalling 273 million nights away from home, with an expenditure of £18.1 billion.totalling 273 million nights away from home, with an expenditure of £18.1 billion.

£195 was spent per trip, and with an average trip length of 2.95 nights, the average spend per night was £66.

Overall trends

The number of domestic trips was 9% lower than in 2013, and the amount spent fell by 3% (in nominal terms).

Trends by trip purpose

Holiday travel

41 million holiday trips were taken in England in 2014, with spending of £10 billion. The number of holiday trips taken was 9% lower than in 2013, and the amount spent 4% lower.

At 26.5 million, short breaks of 1-3 nights account for almost two-thirds of English holidays by volume, and just over half the market value (£5.3 billion), with an average spend per night of £103, and spend per trip of £199.

14.3 million 4+ night holidays were taken, generating £4.8 billion in expenditure. While spend per trip is higher than for short breaks (£335), average spend per night is considerably lower (£56).

Business travel

13.5 million overnight business trips were taken in England in 2014, worth £3.5 billion. The number of business trips fell by 10% year-on-year, while spending fell by 4%.

Visiting friends and relatives (VFR)

The number of VFR trips taken fell back by 6% in 2014, to 36 million, though the amount spent remained static at £4.1 billion.

Within VFR, there were differing trends by trip purpose. The number of “holiday” VFR trips rose by 1.5%, and associated spending rose by 7%. However, other, so-called “duty” VFR  trips declined, with a 16% decrease in trip volumes, and a 12% fall in value. 

Summary tables

England

Great Britain 

Trips to different parts of England in 2014

In this section, you can find the volume and value of domestic overnight trips to different parts of England.

Regions of England

We have published factsheets on each of the nine regions of England. Download the Regional Factsheets in PDF (ZIP, 3.77MB) and Excel format (ZIP, 381KB)

Each quarter we publish GBTS results for the nine regions, covering the volume and value of domestic overnight trips to different parts of England. This includes quarterly, year-to- date and past 12-month figures.

We've also published a brief topic paper on the origin and destination of holidaymakers 2014 (PDF, 467KB)

Most Visited Towns

The Most Visited Towns data is published using three-year averages, listing the most visited English towns by trip numbers and spend - in total, for holiday trips, and for business trips. The most recent data is for the three-year period from 2012-2014.

Local Authorities and other areas

For other geographical areas of England (Local Authorities, Counties, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) areas and Parliamentary Constituencies) data is published using three-year averages only. The most recent data is for the three-year period from 2012-2014.

An introduction to this analysis (Word, 28KB).

The data is available in Excel as follows:

A combined spreadsheet has been produced for Local Authorities including data from both the GBTS survey (domestic overnight trips) and the GBDVS survey (day visits) to create a combined total of all domestic trips to Local Authorities.

GBTS 2014 monthly results

Great Britain Tourism Survey 2013

In 2013, British residents took 102 million overnight trips in England, totalling 297 million nights away from home, with expenditure of £18.7 billion. £184 was spent per trip, and with an average trip length of 2.9 nights, the average spend per night was £63.totalling 297 million nights away from home, with expenditure of £18.7 billion. £184 was spent per trip, and with an average trip length of 2.9 nights, the average spend per night was £63.

For detailed results, download the GB Tourist 2013 report (PDF, 3.56MB).

Overall trends

The Domestic Tourism Overview 2013 shows the number of domestic trips was 3% lower than in 2013, and the amount spent fell by 4% (in nominal terms).

Holiday travel

45 million holiday trips were taken in England in 2013, with spending of £10.5 billion. The number of holiday trips taken was 2% lower than in 2012, though volumes remain well above pre-recession levels (2006-2008 average trip volume was 40.5 million).

Business travel

15.1 million overnight business trips were taken in England in 2013, worth £3.7 billion. The number of trips fell by 5% year-on-year, while spending fell by 3%. Business trip volumes are therefore slightly below those recorded in the 2006-8 period (2006-8 average 15.3 million).

Visiting friends and relatives (VFR)

The number of VFR trips taken fell back by 2% in 2013, to 38.2 million, with a 3% decline in spending to £4.1 billion. Within VFR there were differing trends by trip purpose, with a 2% increase in “holiday” VFR but a decrease of 7% in other, “duty” VFR trips.

Summary tables

England

Great Britain 

2013 Monthly GBTS results

Trips to different parts of England in 2013

Regions of England

Each quarter we publish GBTS results for the nine regions of England, including quarterly, year to date and past 12-month figures.

Most Visited Towns

The Most Visited Towns Analysis (PDF, 34KB) lists the top English towns in 2013 by trip numbers and spend – in total, for holiday trips, and for business trips.

Other areas

For other geographical areas of England (Local Authorities, Counties, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) areas and Parliamentary Constituencies) data is published using three-year averages only. The most recent data is for the three-year period from 2011-2013. 

See an introduction to this analysis (PDF, 34KB).

Available data:

Great Britain Tourism Survey 2012

Overview of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Domestic overnight visitors

In 2012, the GBTS question about activities undertaken during trips was amended to include five options related to the 2012 Games:

  • Attended a 2012 Olympics/Paralympics sports event
  • Attended the 2012 Olympic Torch relay
  • Attended an Inspire Mark Olympic event
  • Attended a Cultural Olympiad event, the 2012 Festival, or any other 'official' Olympic-related event
  • Visited the Olympic Park in London (without attending a ‘ticketed’ sporting event)

Between July and September 2012, 1.1 million overnight trips were taken in Great Britain which involved one of the above activities. Spending on these trips totalled £331 million.totalled £331 million.

Detailed results for each activity are broken out in this chart (PDF, 80KB).

Domestic day visitors

The same questions were included in the GB Day Visit Survey. This showed that in the same three-month period, 11.4 million tourism day visits included one of the five Olympic activities, with spending of just over £1 billion. More detailed results are available in the Day Visits section of our website.

The GB Tourist 2012

The GB Tourist 2012 (PDF, 5.3MB) is the annual report of the GB Tourism Survey, with detailed analysis of results by nation, trip purpose and trip characteristics.

Domestic tourism overview 2012 - England and Great Britain

Summary

In 2012, British residents took 104 million overnight trips in England, totalling 310 million nights away from home, with expenditure of £19.5 billion. £187 was spent per trip, and with an average trip length of 3.0 nights, the average spend per night was £63.totalling 310 million nights away from home, with expenditure of £19.5 billion. £187 was spent per trip, and with an average trip length of 3.0 nights, the average spend per night was £63.

Overall trends

The number of domestic trips taken was unchanged compared to 2011, but the amount spent rose by 9% (in nominal terms). The volume and value of domestic trips in 2012 were at their highest levels since the start of the current survey in 2006. 

2012 Trends by trip purpose

Holiday travel

46 million holiday trips were taken in England in 2012, with spending of £11 billion. The number of holiday trips taken was unchanged compared to 2011, leaving volumes well above pre-recession levels (2006-2008 average trip volume was 40.5 million), with spending up by 10%.

Business travel

15.9 million overnight business trips were taken in England in 2012, worth £3.8 billion. The number of trips increased by 3% year-on-year, while spending grew by 6%. Trip volumes are now slightly ahead of those recorded in the 2006-8 period (2006-8 average 15.3 million).

Visiting friends and relatives (VFR)

The number of VFR trips taken fell back slightly (-1%) in 2012, to 38.9 million, though the amount spent increased by 7% to £4.2 billion. Within VFR there were differing trends by trip purpose, with a 5% increase in 'holiday' VFR but a decrease of 8% in other, 'duty' VFR trips.

Headline summary

The Headline Summary - 2012 GBTS  (PDF, 349KB) shows the volume and value of domestic overnight trips to Great Britain & England by trip purpose.

Summary tables

A summary of results comparing 2011 and 2012 across key variables. 

Trips to different parts of England in 2012

Regions of England

Each quarter we publish GBTS results for the nine regions of England, including quarterly, year-to-date and past 12-month figures.

Most Visited Towns 2012

The Most Visited Towns Analysis lists the top English towns in 2012 by trip numbers and spend – in total, for holiday trips, and for business trips. 

Other areas

For other geographical areas of England (Local Authorities, Counties, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) areas and Parliamentary Constituencies) data is published using three-year averages only - the most recent data is for the three-year period from 2010-2012. See an introduction to this analysis (PDF, 297KB).

The data is available in Excel as follows:

2012 Monthly Toplines and Commentaries

Activities in 2012

A summary of leisure activities undertaken on domestic overnight trips in 2012

In the 2012 GB Tourism Survey, respondents who had taken an overnight trip within England were asked to state what leisure activities they had undertaken as part of that trip. See the summarised results from this question:

Microdata

An Excel file containing the 2012 microdata set (Excel, 1KB) for key GBTS variables.

Great Britain Tourism Survey 2011

The GB Tourist is the annual report of the GB Tourism Survey, with detailed analysis of results by nation, trip purpose and trip characteristics.

The GB Tourist 2011 (PDF, 5.3MB)

Domestic Tourism Overview 2011 - England and Great Britain

Summary

In 2011, British residents took 104 million overnight trips in England, totalling 307 million nights away from home, with expenditure of £17.9 billion. £172 was spent per trip, and with an average trip length of 2.9 nights, the average spend per night was £58.totalling 307 million nights away from home, with expenditure of £17.9 billion. £172 was spent per trip, and with an average trip length of 2.9 nights, the average spend per night was £58.

Overall trends

The number of domestic trips taken increased in 2011 by 9%, accompanied by a 13% uplift in spending (in nominal terms). Both volume and value of trips in 2011 were at their highest levels since the start of the current survey in 2006.

Trends by trip purpose

Holiday travel

46 million holiday trips were taken in England in 2011, with spending of £10 billion. The number of holiday trips taken increased by 6% compared to 2010, leaving volumes well above pre-recession levels (2006-2008 average trip volume = 40.5 million).

Business travel

15.5 million overnight business trips were taken in England in 2011, worth £3.5 billion. The 15% uplift in business travel volumes between 2010 and 2011 came after four successive years of decline, and means that business travel activity and spending are now back at pre-recession levels.

Visiting friends and relatives (VFR)

VFR travel too saw an uplift in 2011, with the 39 million trips taken representing a 10% growth in volume, while spending of £3.9 billion was 12% higher than in the previous year. However, the number of trips taken still remains below its pre-recession peak.

Trip length

In both holiday and business travel, there has been a steady decline in trip length in recent years, with holiday trips in 2011 averaging 3.42 nights, and business trips 2.18 nights, down from the 2007 peak of 3.66 and 2.32 nights respectively.

Headline Summary 

The Headline Summary - 2011 GBTS (PDF, 235KB)235KB) shows the volume & value of domestic overnight trips to Great Britain & England by trip purpose.

Summary tables

A summary of results comparing 2010 and 2011 across key variables:

2011 monthly toplines and commentaries

2011 Hot topics

Activities in 2011

In the 2011 GB Tourism Survey, respondents who had taken an overnight trip within England were asked to state what leisure activities they had undertaken as part of that trip. The results from this question are summarised in the reports below.

UK Tourism Survey 2010

The UK Tourist 2010 (PDF, 1.5MB) is the annual report of the UK Tourism Survey, with detailed analysis of results by nation, trip purpose and trip characteristics. 

2010 Summary Tables

A short set of summary tables comparing 2009 and 2010 across key variables:

Top Towns 2010

The Top Towns Analysis (PDF, 69KB) lists the top 20 English towns by trip numbers and spend – in total, for holiday trips, and for business trips.

Topic Summaries 2010

A series of short presentations analysing trends in domestic tourism in total and by trip purpose.analysing trends in domestic tourism in total and by trip purpose.

Domestic overview

Holiday trips

Business trips

Visits to friends and relatives (VFR)

Monthly Summaries 2010

An archive of monthly results from 2010.

Regional results 2010

Quarterly topline results for each of the nine English regions.

Detailed Regional Trends 2006-2010

An easy-to-use Excel pivot table provides details about regional trends across a range of trip characteristics including demographics, accommodation type, transport used and others:

Deep dive reports

Deep dive reports investigate subjects of particular interest. Download the 2010 reports below:

Local Authority and Country Analysis 2006-2010

An analysis of local authority, county and town data from 2006 to 2010, calculated using three year averages.

UK Tourism Survey 2009

Detailed analysis for 2009, including summary tables, topic profiles, top towns, regional trends, accessibility analysis and county analysis.

The UK Tourist 2009 (PDF, 728KB) is the annual report of the UK Tourism Survey, with detailed analysis of results by nation, trip purpose and trip characteristics.

2009 Summary Tables

A short set of summary tables comparing 2008 and 2009 across key variables.

Top Towns 2009

The Top Towns analysis (PDF, 21KB) lists the top 20 English towns by trip numbers – in total, for holiday trips, and for business trips.

Topic Summaries 2009

  • A series of short presentations analysing trends in domestic tourism in total and by trip purpose.analysing trends in domestic tourism in total and by trip purpose.

Domestic overview

Holiday trips

Business

Monthly Summaries 2009

Regional results 2009

Quarterly topline results for each of the nine English regions. 

Detailed Regional Trends 2006-2009

An easy-to-use Excel pivot table provides detail about regional trends across a range of trip characteristics including demographics, accommodation type, transport used and others.

Accessibility Analysis 2009

In 2009, a question was included on the UKTS to identify whether trip takers or members of their travelling party had any disabilities or impairments. The results from this question are highlighted in the Accessibility Analysis 2009 (PDF, 473KB).

County Analysis 2006-2009

The County Analysis (PDF, 350KB) shows a breakdown of UKTS results by the counties of England, using average volume and value figures over a four year period (2006 – 2009).

UK Tourism Survey 2008

The UK Tourist 2008

The UK Tourist 2008 (PDF, 750KB) is the annual report of the UK Tourism Survey, with detailed analysis of results by nation, trip purpose and trip characteristics.

2008 Summary Tables

A short set of summary tables comparing 2007 and 2008 across key variables.

Top Towns 2008

The Top 20 Towns 2008 (PDF, 26KB) lists the top 20 English towns by trip numbers – in total, for holiday trips, and for business trips.

Topic Summaries 2008

A series of short presentations analysing trends in domestic tourism in total and by trip purpose.analysing trends in domestic tourism in total and by trip purpose.

Domestic Overview

Holiday trips

Business

Visits to friends and relatives (VFR)

Monthly Summaries 2008

Regional results 2008

Topline results for each of the nine English regions. 

UK Tourism Survey 2007

Detailed analysis for 2007, including summary tables, top towns and regional trends.

The UK Tourist 2007

The UK Tourist (PDF, 736KB) is the annual report of the UK Tourism Survey, with detailed analysis of results by nation, trip purpose and trip characteristics. 

2007 Summer Tables

A short set of summary tables comparing 2006 and 2007 across key variables.

Top Towns 2007

The Top Towns Analysis (PDF, 44KB) lists the top 20 English towns by trip numbers – in total, for holiday trips, and for business trips.

Regional results 2007

Topline results for each of the nine English regions.

UK Tourism Survey 2006

The UK Tourist 2006 (PDF, 1.2MB) is the annual report of the UK Tourism Survey with detailed analysis of results by nation, trip purpose and trip characteristics.

2006 Summary Tables

A short set of summary tables for 2006 across key variables.

Top Towns 2006

Top Towns Analysis (PDF, 20KB) lists the top 10 English towns by trip numbers – in total, for holiday trips, and for business trips.

Regional results 2006

Topline results for each of the nine English regions.

The Domestic Holidaymaker

The Domestic Holidaymaker document examines results from the 2006 United Kingdom Tourism Survey (UKTS), a national consumer survey that measures volume and value of overnight trips taken within the UK, by UK residents.

UK Tourism Survey 2005

In 2005, the methodology of the UK Tourism survey changed from telephone to face-to-face interviewing. View a summary of these issues (PDF, 16KB) and the rationale for the change.

The 2005 survey didn't start until May. This means survey results for the calendar year 2005 are not available. Instead, an estimate for the missing months was calculated based on the share of trips made in the first four months of the year from the 2002 dataset. View a more detailed explanation of the calculations (PDF, 16KB)

2005 full year data should be viewed as indicative only, and care should be taken when making comparisons between 2005 and later years.

The UK Tourist 2005

The The UK Tourist (PDF, 806KB) is the annual report of the UK Tourism Survey with detailed analysis of results by nation, trip purpose and trip characteristics.

2005 Summary Tables

A short set of summary tables for 2005 across key variables.

Regional results 2005

Topline results for each of the nine English regions. 

UK Tourism Survey 2000 - 2004

Note on methodology

From 2000 to 2004, UKTS data was collected using a telephone methodology. During the final year of this survey, the survey results were queried. After a detailed investigation of the data (outlined in 2004 Data Concerns (PDF, 25KB), it was concluded that the sample which could be reached by telephone was becoming less and less representative of the population as a whole. This resulted in the decision to revert to face-to-face interviewing from 2005 onwards.

Data from 2000 – 2003 can be used to understand some trends in domestic tourism in the first part of the decade, but the change in methodology means that it is not possible to draw a direct comparison between volumes and values in the first part of the decade and volumes and values from 2006 onwards. Care should therefore be taken when interpreting these results. 

Results

2004 Summary and regional results

2004 Regional results

2003 Summary

2002 Summary

2001 Summary

2000 Summary

2000-2003 Regional Results

UKTS Results 2000 – 2003 analysed by region.

2000 – 2003 Detailed trip characteristics

2000 – 2003 Activities undertaken by domestic tourists

The question about holiday activities was taken off the UKTS survey in 2004.

GBTS: Microdata files

We also produce a dataset of key GBTS variables: