GB Tourism Survey: 2016 overview

Get a snapshot of domestic tourism in 2016 with the latest Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) data. 

GB Tourism Survey: 2016 Overview

2016 Domestic Overnight Tourism Performance Summary 

In 2016, British residents took 99.3 million overnight trips in England, totalling 288 million nights away from home and expenditure of £18.5 billion,with an average trip length of 2.90 nights.

Overall trends

The number of domestic trips was 4% lower than in 2015.

Trends by trip purpose

Holiday travel

44.7 million holiday trips were taken in England in 2016. The number of holiday trips taken was on par with 2015.

At 29.3 million, short breaks of 1-3 nights account for two-thirds of English holidays by volume. 15.4 million 4+ night holidays were taken. 

Business travel

14.1 million overnight business trips were taken in England in 2016. The number of business trips was on par with 2015.

Visiting friends and relatives (VFR)

The number of VFR trips taken declined by 9% in 2016, to 36.9 million.

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


Great Britain

Trips to different parts of England in 2016

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.

GBTS Quarterly Regional Summary Q4 2016 (PDF, 436KB)

GBTS Quarterly Regional Summary Q3 2016 (PDF, 437KB) 

GBTS Quarterly Regional Summary Q2 2016 (PDF, 436KB) 

GBTS Quarterly Regional Summary Q1 2016 (PDF, 436KB) 

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 2014-2016. 

Most Visited Towns by Trip Purpose 2014-16 (Excel, 32KB)

Local Authorities and other areas

For geographical areas of England (Local Authorities, Counties, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) areas) data is published using three-year averages only. The most recent data is for the three-year period from 2014-2016.

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.

Note: All year on year trends estimates are based on a comparison with a re-processed 2015 data. More detail about this can be found in this explanation document (PDF, 1.3MB).