Latest monthly data

The latest available data from the International Passenger Survey is available below. This shows the volume and value of visits to the UK by overseas residents for the most recent month and quarter.

The survey is run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – monthly data is generally available 7 weeks after the end of each month and quarterly data is generally available 4 months after the close of each quarter. For publication dates and more information, please see about the International Passenger Survey.

Inbound visitor statistics for March 2018

Visits and spend figures

  March 2018

Last 3 months (Jan - Mar 18)

Year to Date (Jan - Mar 18)
    % change vs Mar 17   % change vs Jan - Mar 17     % change vs Jan - Mar 17
All visits (000) 2,978 -1% 7,840 -6%   7,840 -6%
Spend (£m) £1,778 13% £4,450 2%   £4,450 2%
  Rolling 12 months (Apr 17 - Mar 18) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
    % change vs Apr 16 - Mar 17 When Record Current deficit
Total visits (000) 38,740 1% Sep 16 - Aug 17 39,730 -990
Spend (£m) £24,610 6% Dec 16 - Nov 17 £24,740 -130
  • Visits: The UK welcomed 3.0 million overseas visits in March 2018, down by 1% compared to March 2017.  Between January and March 2018 there were 7.8 million inbound visits to the UK, down by 6% on the same period in 2017.  There were 38.7 million visits to the UK in the rolling 12 months to March 2018, 1% more than the previous 12 months (April 2016 - March 2017).
  • Spending: in March 2018 spending rose 13% compared to March 2017 to reach £1.8 billion, a new March record.  During the first three months of 2018, inbound visitors spent a combined £4.5 billion, 2% more than they did in the first three months of 2017 - posting a record start to the year.  Over the longer term 12 months to March 2018, visitors to our shores spent £24.6 billion, 6% more than the did in the previous 12 month period (April 2016 - March 2017).

Visits by journey purpose

  March 2018

Last 3 months (Jan - Mar 18)

Year to Date (Jan - Mar 18)
  Visits (000) % change vs Mar 17 Visits (000) % change vs Jan - Mar 17 Visits (000) % change vs Jan - Mar 17
Holiday 1,055 -7% 2,490 -11% 2,490 -11%
VFR 902 -1% 2,620 -2% 2,620 -2%
Business 818 7% 2,140 1% 2,140 1%
Miscellaneous 204 2% 580 -15% 580 -15%
  Rolling 12 months (Apr 17 - Mar 18) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs Apr 16 - Mar 17

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
Holiday 15,050 5% Oct 16 - Sep 17 15,550 -500
VFR 11,930 2% Oct 16 - Sep 17 12,080 -150
Business 8,800 -4% Feb 16 - Jan 17 9,290 -480
Miscellaneous 2,950 -5% Apr 07 - Mar 08 3,470 -520
  • Holiday visits were down 7% to 1.1 million in March 2018, compared to holiday visits received in March 2017. Holiday visits for the first three months of 2018 are 11% behind levels seen in Q1 2017.  In the rolling 12 months to March 2018 there were 15.1 million holiday visits to the UK, up 5% on the previous 12 month period.
  • Visits to friends and relatives (VFR) were down marginally by 1% to 902,000 in March 2018, compared to March 2017.  Over the first quarter of 2018 (January to March) VFR visits were down 2%.  Overall, there were 12.1 million VFR visits to the UK in the 12 months to March 2018.
  • Business visits were weaker in 2017, compared to 2016 but are showing positive signs more recently. Business visits in March 2018 were up 7% on March 2017.  Business visits in the first three months of 2018 are marginally up on the start of 2017 (1%).  Over the longer term, rolling 12 months to March 2018, business visits were 4% behind the previous 12 month period (April 2016 - March 2017). 
  • Miscellaneous journey purpose visits are a combination of a wide range of different journey purposes, including (but not limited to) short term study, looking for work, shopping, attending a sports event and many more. In March 2018 visits to the UK for these miscellaneous purposes were up 2% on the same month a year ago. Visits in the last three months were 15% behind those in January – March 2017. There were 5% fewer miscellaneous visits in the 12 months to March 2018, compared to the previous 12 month period.

Visits by global region

  March 2018

Last 3 months (Jan - Mar 18)

Year to Date (Jan - Mar 18)
  Visits (000) % change
vs Mar 17
Visits (000) % change vs Jan - Mar 17 Visits (000) % change vs Jan - Mar 17
EU Total 2,148 4% 5,420 -6% 5,420 -6%
EU15 1,685 1% 4,260 -9% 4,260 -9%
Other EU 463 15% 1,170 4% 1,170 4%
Rest of Europe 152 -27% 430 -22% 430 -22%
North America 293 -20% 770 -1% 770 -1%
Rest of World 385 7% 1,210 2% 1,210 2%
  Rolling 12 months (Apr 17 - Mar 18) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs 

Apr 16 - Mar 17

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
EU Total 25,220 -2% Oct 16 - Sep 17 26,280 -1,060
EU15 20,310 -4% May 16 - Apr 17 21,450 -1,140
Other EU 4,910 4% Oct 16 - Sep 17 5,030 -120
Rest of Europe 2,430

3%

Jan 17 - Dec 17 2,550 -120
North America 4,740 8% Jan 00 - Dec 00 4,870 -130
Rest of World 6,360 10% Dec 16 - Nov 17 6,370 -10
  • Visits to the UK from all EU markets in March 2018 were up 4% compared to March 2017.  Visits in the last three months are 6% behind January - March 2017 off the back of weaker January results.  EU visits in the 12 months to March 2018 are 2% behind the previous 12 month period (April 2016 - March 2017).
  • Looking at the EU15 markets only, there were 1.7 million visits to the UK in March 2018, up 1% on March 2017. With weaker results in January 2018, visits over the first three months of 2018 are down 9% on the first three months of 2017.  EU15 visits to the UK over the longer term 12 months to March 2018, are tracking 4% behind levels seen in the previous 12 month period (April 2016 - March 2017).   
  • Visits from all Other EU markets were up 15% on March 2017 to 463,000 visits.  In the three months to March 2018 visits are also up by 4% compared to the first three months of 2017.  With 4.9 million visits from the Other EU markets in the rolling 12 months to March 2018 visits are up 4% on the same period a year before.
  • Visits to the UK from the Rest of Europe were down by 27% in March 2018, to 152,000 visits. Combined with the more positive results posted in the final nine months of 2017, visits from the Rest of Europe to the UK in the rolling 12 months to March 2018 are 3% higher than they were in the previous 12 month period. 
  • There were 293,000 visits to the UK from North America in March, a decline of 20% after positive results in January and February this year.  Over the three months to March 2018 visits are just 1% behind the levels seen in the first three months of 2017.  Positive numbers are also seen over the rolling 12 months to March 2018, where there were 4.7 million visits, up 8% on the previous 12 months (April 2016 – March 2017). 
  • In March 2018, combined ‘Rest of World’ markets set a new March record in visits to the UK up 7% on March 2017 at 385,000.  The March record setting continued for visits from Rest of World in longer time periods. Visits reached 1.2 million in the first three months of 2018 and 6.4 million in the 12 months to March 2018 - increases of 2% and 10% respectively.   

Explore the quarterly data in more detail.