GB Tourism Survey: 2015 overview

Get a snapshot of domestic tourism in 2015 with the latest Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) data. 

GB Tourism Survey: 2015 Overview

2015 Domestic Overnight Tourism Performance Summary 

In 2015, British residents took 102.7 million overnight trips in England, totalling 300 million nights away from home, with an expenditure of £19.6 billion. £191 was spent per trip, and with an average trip length of 2.92 nights, the average spend per night was £65.

Overall trends

The number of domestic trips was 11% higher than in 2014, and the amount spent increased by 8%, reaching an all-time high in nominal terms.

Trends by trip purpose

Holiday travel

43.7 million holiday trips were taken in England in 2015, with spending of £10.7 billion. The number of holiday trips taken was 7% higher than in 2014, and the amount spent also increased by 7%.

At 29.2 million, short breaks of 1-3 nights account for two-thirds of English holidays by volume, and over half the market value (£5.9 billion), with an average spend per night of £104, and spend per trip of £201.

14.5 million 4+ night holidays were taken, generating £4.9 billion in expenditure. While spend per trip is higher than for short breaks (£334), average spend per night is considerably lower (£54).

Business travel

13.9 million overnight business trips were taken in England in 2015, worth £3.3 billion. The number of business trips rose by 2% year-on-year, though spending fell back, by 5%.

Visiting friends and relatives (VFR)

The number of VFR trips taken rose by 13% in 2015, to 40.6 million, the highest recorded total since 2006, while spending reached a record level (in nominal terms) of £4.7 billion, representing a 15% increase year on year.

Both holiday and so-called “duty” VFR saw growth in 2015, with volumes for both categories up by 13%, and spending up by 12% and 15% respectively.

Further detail about trip profiles and demographic characteristics can be found in our summary tables:


Great Britain


Most Visited Towns

Crowd of people in Chester town centreThe 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 2013-2015. 

Most Visited Towns by Trip Purpose 2013-15 (Excel, 79KB)

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 2013-2015.

An introduction to this analysis (Word, 269KB) is available HERE

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.