External resources

From tourism employment to culture, heritage and sport surveys, many organisations conduct research and provide market intelligence about subjects related to tourism. See what's available and where.

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

A number of publications are available from the Tourism Intelligence Unit within the ONS. These can all be found on the ONS website under The Economic Value of Tourism.

UK Tourism Satellite Account

A Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) uses demand (consumer spend) and supply (business turnover) information to work out the value of tourism to the economy in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA). The most recent TSA publication from the ONS provides estimates of UK tourism GVA between 2008 and 2012, with nowcasted data for 2013 and 2014.

The sub-national estimates of tourism value 

Estimates of tourism impact are available at regional and sub-regional level

ONS Atlas of Tourism

The ONS Atlas of Tourism provides a visual representation of a variety of sub-regional tourism statistics.

Supply side of tourism

A number of reports provide data relating to tourism businesses and employment, including:


Measuring tourism locally - guidance notes

The TIU has produced a series of guidance notes, aimed at supporting those responsible for measuring tourism in their area. They are comprised of:


You may also be interested in other ONS resources:

Nomis – Official Labour Market Statistics

The Nomis website provides information about rates of employment across the country, and in particular relation to tourism, provides employment figures for the tourism sector by local authority.

Tourism publication hub

On the statistics.gov.uk portal you'll find official annual, quarterly and monthly releases from the International Passenger Survey (IPS). There are also links to a number of other tourism publications from all four nations of the UK.

Population statistics

On the ONS website you'll find documents with detailed population statistics for the UK, by local authorities and by demographics.

HM Treasury statistics

The Treasury publishes a range of economic data and forecasts.


Useful surveys

Below are various sources of tourism data intelligence focusing on people's engagement with a range of themes, including the environment, sport, and heritage.

Taking Part (DCMS) – Culture, leisure and sport

The Taking Part survey is commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and its partner public bodies (Arts Council, Historic England, and Sport England) to collect data about engagement and non-engagement in culture, leisure and sport. Visits to historic environment sites, visits to museums/ galleries and archives, and engagement with the arts are all relevant to tourism. Taking Part is a continuous national survey, achieving an annual sample size of around 29,000 people. 

Active People (Sport England) – Sport and recreation

The Active People survey identifies how participation in sport and recreation varies from place to place and between different groups in the population. The survey also measures the proportion of the adult population volunteering in sport on a weekly basis, club membership, involvement in organised sport/ competition, receipt of tuition or coaching, and overall satisfaction with levels of sporting provision in the local community. A number of fact sheets and Excel analyses are available on the Sport England website.

National Travel Survey (Department for Transport) 

The National Travel Survey (NTS) is a household survey designed to provide a databank of personal travel information for Great Britain. The NTS has been running continuously since 1988, following previous ad-hoc surveys. In 2009, data was collected from over 8,000 households. Trip purpose information is particularly useful, enabling transport information for holidays/ day trips to be analysed separately.

Heritage Counts (Historic England)

Heritage Counts is an annual survey of the state of England’s historic environment. The national Heritage Counts report contains information on historic assets, historic assets at risk, planning consents, funding in the historic sector, employment and skills, and economic and social benefits (participation, volunteering, education, regeneration, community cohesion). As well as a national report, separate reports are available for each of the country’s nine regions.

Heritage Lottery Fund / RSA Heritage Index

The Heritage Index reveals which areas have the most physical heritage assets, how actively residents and visitors in those areas are involved with local heritage, and – by comparing the two – shows where in England there is potential to make more of heritage. 

Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE)

MENE is a new survey commissioned by Natural England, Defra and the Forestry Commission.


Tourism and leisure organisations

Useful market intelligence sources from tourism and leisure organisations in England.

Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)

ALVA members represent some of Britain’s biggest and best-known attractions. Its website lists visitor numbers for many of these attractions, showing year-on-year changes.

The Arts Council

The Arts Council is the national development agency for the arts, supporting a range of artistic activities. Its research covers aspects such as audiences for the arts, how people value the arts, and future innovations such as digital opportunities for the arts.

The Audience Agency

The Audience Agency has developed the Audience Finder, a national audience data and development programme, enabling cultural organisations to share, compare and apply insight.

British Retail Consortium (BRC)

The BRC represents a whole range of retailers. Its website features key facts and figures about trends across the various retail sectors, as well as links to other providers of retail data.

Business Visits and Events Partnership

The Business Visits and Events Partnership aims to support a competitive, high-quality and more profitable business visits and events sector in Britain. Its website has a range of news and publications relating to the business tourism sector, as well as links to other research. 

Caterer Search

The trends and data section of The Caterer website provides links to external sources of market data about hotels, catering and tourism.

Creative England

Creative England invests in and supports England's creative sectors – film, TV, games and digital media – and carries out research on these sectors.

Forestry Commission

The Forestry Commission is the largest land manager in Britain and the biggest provider of outdoor recreation. It undertakes and commissions economic research and appraisals and also compiles statistical information covering various aspects of forestry, including recreation trends.

Historic England

Historic England is the public body that looks after England's historic environment. Its programme of research covers economic impact measurement, participation and visiting patterns in the heritage sector.

Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA)

The MLA, which closed in 2012, promoted best practice in museums, libraries and archives. It provided sector statistics (eg. visitor numbers), as well as publishing research which had been carried out to inform the development of its programmes and for evaluation purposes.

Joint Meetings Industry Council

JMIC was established in 1978 to provide a communications link amongst international associations engaged in the Meetings Industry. They hold an archive of research and publications, with the latest research and economic impact studies from the industry.

National Coastal Tourism Academy

The National Coastal Tourism Academy was set up to understand the nature of coastal tourism and develop routes to successful job creation and growth in the visitor economy. Its Resource Hub includes links, reports on the latest trends, facts and figures about coastal tourism in England.

National Parks

The National Parks website includes results from visitor surveys, conducted to better understand who visits national parks and the activities they undertake.

Natural England

Natural England is the Government’s advisor on the natural environment. Alongside scientific research, it investigates patterns of engagement with the natural environment, and activities undertaken in this context.

People 1st

People 1st is the sector skills council for hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism. Its website offers a wide range of sector-specific research and case studies to help businesses plan their recruitment, retention and training.

Sport England

Sport England aims to grow and sustain the numbers of people taking part in sport and to improve talent development. They carry out research to understand who does (or doesn’t) participate in sport, and the reasons for this, as well as measuring participant satisfaction.


If you know of any other useful websites you think we should include, please get in touch.