The International Passenger Survey (IPS) was suspended on 16 March 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic until the start of 2021. The ONS have made every effort to produce high-quality estimates for the periods when IPS data is not being collected but have not been able to produce a full set of results therefore no data from 2020 is available below. Interviewing initially began at UK airports at the start of 2021, though the IPS remained suspended at some sea ports and train stations during the year. Data for 2021 and 2022 is also excluded below as there were no interviews at Eurotunnel until July 2022 and data from Dover was only collected from Q3 2021.
You can access the 2021 towns data an alternative format in this excel table showing the 20 most visited towns and cities by visitors from overseas (XLS, 26.5KB) as far back as 1999.
Top towns for 'staying visits' by inbound visitors
|Town/city||Visits (000s)||Town/city||Visits (000s)||Town/city||Visits (000s)|
Source: International Passenger Survey, Office for National Statistics. Please note that figures are based on small sample sizes for all cities with the exception of London and should therefore be treated with caution.
This Excel document allows you to see how many visitors from overseas went to different towns and cities in the UK. It also shows a breakdown of visits to each town by major overseas markets. You can view visit data for towns by journey purpose, and quarter. Data is available from 2009-2021 (XLS, 13.6MB). Data for many towns is based on small sample sizes, so using 3 or 4 year averages is highly recommended.
International Passenger Survey data for towns and cities typically measures staying visits (where visitors stay overnight). This report (PDF, 1.8MB) looks at where inbound visitors to the UK go on day trips, based on an extra question VisitBritain sponsored on the International Passenger Survey in 2016. Read about the top destinations for day trips and characteristics of day trippers.