Business visits & events

The business visits and events sector is incredibly diverse, covering trade fairs, conferences and congresses, outdoor and entertainment events as well as business tourism.

Business visits by market

The latest annual data from the International Passenger Survey is available below. View data for visits, nights, and spend of business visitors, as well as filter visits by age, gender, season, mode of transport, length of stay for the last full year of data. We also have latest quarterly data available for the whole of the UK, for the nations and regions of Britain and annual trends by area where you can filter by journey purpose (including business visits).

Inbound visits to Britain

Note: To filter data, please use a desktop rather than mobile device
Use these filters to update the charts and tables below
Display:
Overview of UK visitor statistics in   Change from previous year
Number of visits
Total expenditure (GBP)
Total nights spent
Average length of stay (Nights)
Average spend per visit (GBP)
Sample size less than 30!
The sample for is
Therefore please treat this data with caution.
Please select at least one option
Download a CSV file containing data

Business visits to the UK by sub-category

VisitBritain sponsored an additional question on the International Passenger Survey to get a breakdown of business visits into more detailed categories, namely, 'Trade Fair/Exhibition', 'Conference/Large Meeting', and 'Other' in recent years.

Please note that data is available for 2007-2011 & 2014, it is not available for 2012, 2013 nor 2015. An even more detailed breakdown of business visit categories will be available in the 2016 IPS data, which will be published in 2017.

Type of business visits to the UK by overseas residents

Conference/ large meeting

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2014
Total visits (000) 1,168 1,111 926 998 1,069 977
Total nights (000) 4,821 4,184 3,746 3,986 4,601 4,234
Total spend £(m) £799 £814 £691 £789 £862 £896
Other 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2014
Total visits (000) 7,395 6,688 5,459 5,557 5,954 7,059
Total nights (000) 30,145 29,423 22,507 23,474 25,642 29,071
Total spend £(m) £3,564 £3,485 £2,849 £3,069 £3,315 £3,935
Trade fair or exhibition 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2014
Total visits (000) 282 325 193 238 215 242
Total nights (000) 973 1,243 719 876 875 944
Total spend £(m) £183 £277 £147 £178 £214 £195
Total business visits 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2014
Total visits (000) 8,845 8,124 6,579 6,793 7,238 8,277
Total nights (000) 35,939 34,850 26,972 28,336 31,118 34,249
Total spend £(m) £4,546 £4,575 £3,686 £4,037 £4,390 £5,027

View our simple headline trend information (XLS, 33KB) from 1993-2014 in the number of visits, nights, and visitor spending by each business visit sub-category.