GB Domestic Overnight Tourism: Latest results

The Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) is a national consumer survey measuring the volume and value of domestic overnight tourism trips taken by residents in Great Britain, and provides detailed information about trip and visitor characteristics.

GBTS 2021

The statistics from 2021 onwards, below, are based on a new combined online survey that replaces the separate Great Britain Tourism Survey and Great Britain Day Visits Survey that ran until the end of 2019. Take a read of the methodology and quality report (PDF, 215KB) for more details on the new methodology (including guidance on limitations of comparability with data up until 2019). GBDVS data from the new survey is expected to be release in mid December 2022, subject to confirmation.

 

Fieldwork for 2020 and the first 3 months of 2021 was impacted by COVID-19 related travel restrictions. Therefore, the 2021 data on this page only refers to April-December 2021. Data up to the end of 2019 data can be found on the GBTS archive page.

Please find the 2021 data below and in the GBTS summary report (PDF 2.9MB) focusing on England and Great Britain. 

Headlines

GB Total Q2 2021 (April-June) Q3 2021 (July-September) Q4 2021 (October-December) Q2-Q4 2021 (April-December)
Trips (million) 23.8 51.7 43.4 118.9
Spend (£ million) £4,802 £12,844 £9,557 £27,203
Nights (million) 87.1 191.6 142.2 420.9

In the 9 months of 2021 (April-December) British residents took a total of 119 million overnight trips within Great Britain (which includes England, Scotland and Wales). 36% of these trips were taken in the final quarter (October-December).  Whilst away from home visitors spent a total of £27 billion and stayed a total of 421 million nights.

England total Q2 2021 (April-June) Q3 2021 (July-September) Q4 2021 (October-December) Q2-Q4 2021 (April-December)
Trips (million) 19.7 43.1 37.4 100.2
Spend (£ million) £3,807 £10,426 £7,999 £22,233
Nights (million) 69.8 150.2 117.3 337.3

Q3 2021 was the high point for overnight domestic trips to England in 2021, with 43 million trips.  This is around 43% of all England trips (100 million) in the nine months of 2021 for which we have data. In total British residents spent £22 billion in England while staying overnight between April and December 2021.  

Journey Purpose

Trips (million) England (April-December) England (%) GB (April-December) GB (%)
Holiday 35.5 35% 44.7 38%
VFR 37.2 37% 43.2 36%
Business 7.5 7% 8.3 7%
Miscellaneous 20.0 20% 22.8

19%

Spend (£ million) England (April-December) England (%) GB (April-December) GB (%)
Holiday £10,559 47% £13,362 49%
VFR £5,428 24% £6,354 23%
Business £1,767 8% £2,114 8%
Miscellaneous £4,479 20% £5,374 20%

Holiday and VFR were the most popular reasons for taking an overnight trip in England and Great Britain in 2021 (April-December).  Combined these trips represented around 73% of all trips. However, when looking at the combined spend by journey purpose, holiday trips contributed almost half of all spend at both the England and Great Britain level (47% and 49% respectively). 

Distribution by nation

GB/Nation (April-December) Trips (million) 2021 Share of Trips Spend (£ million) 2021 Share of Spend Nights (million) 2021 Share of Nights
GB 118.9   £27,203   420.9  
England 100.2 84% £22,233 82% 337.3 80%
Scotland 13.6 11% £2,991 11% 47.1 11%
Wales 10.0 8% £1,979 7% 36.5 9%

In the nine months to December 2021, there were 119 million trips within Great Britain by GB residents. Of these trips England was the most popular destination with an 84% share of the trips (100 million trips).

England’s share of the total GB overnight tourism spend in 2021 (for which we have data) was 82% - this equates to £22.2 billion in the final 9 months of 2021.

As with trips and spend, England’s share of domestic nights was 80% of the total 421 million nights between April to December 2021.

Detailed results for Scotland and Wales are published on their websites; VisitScotland and Visit Wales.

Distribution by English region

Q2-Q4 2021 (April-December) Trips (million) Spend (£ million) Nights (million)
England (Total) 100.2 £22,233 337.3
London 14.7 £3,528 49.6
Rest of England 83.3 £18,298 272.4
North East 2.9 £539 7.9
North West 13.3 £3,275 41.3
Yorkshire & the Humber 9.6 £2,229 31.6
West Midlands 8.1 £1,579 22.9
East Midlands 7.6 £1,365 27.0
East of England 9.3 £1,793 28.7
South West 16.1 £4,524 65.8
South East 15.6 £2,795 44.8
OtherUnspecified 2.9 £607 17.9

Across the regions of England, the South (including the South West, South East and London) welcomed the highest share of domestic overnight trips in 2021 (April to December) – close to a half (46%) of all England bound trips.

Of the £22 billion spent by British residents in England in the nine months to December 2021, the highest amount was spent in the third quarter (July-September) of the year.  This is the same pattern seen in each region of England with the exception of London, where Q4 (October- December) posted the highest quarterly spend.

There were 337 million nights in England between April and December 2021. July to September (Q3) was the busiest quarter of the year across all of the English regions.

Please download the GBTS 2021 report (PDF 2.9MB) for further details on trip characteristics and detailed monthly data.