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 December 2016

Visits and spend figures

  December 2016 Last 3 months (Oct - Dec)
    % change vs December 15   % change vs. Oct - Dec 15
All visits (000) 2,860 11% 9,240 6%
Spend (£m) £1,760 -2% £5,320 0%
  Year To Date (Jan - Dec 16) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
    % change vs Jan - Dec15 When Record Current deficit
Total visits (000) 37,340 3% Jan 16 - Dec 16 37,340 0
Spend (£m) £22,160 0% Dec 15 - Nov 16 £22,200 -40

Visits: The UK received 2.86 million overseas visits in December, up 11% year-on-year, to set a new December record. In the past 3 months, visits are up 6% compared to October-December 2015 to a record 9.24 million, boosted by strong November and December figures. 2016 visits are tracking 3% ahead of 2015, setting a new yearly record with the highest volume of visits in any 12 month period.

Spending: December spending is down 2% on the same month in 2015 at £1.76 billion. December 2016 is still the second highest for spend, behind December 2015 which was a particularly strong month for visitor spending. The last 3 months’ spend is on par with the same period last year, brought down by weak spending in October and December, but boosted by November. Spend for 2016 as a whole is very slightly up, at £22.16 billion and setting a new yearly record for spend.

 

Visits by journey purpose

  December 2016 Last 3 months (Oct - Dec)
  Visits (000) % change vs December 15   % change vs Oct - Dec 15
Holiday 930 15% 3,170 11%
VFR 1,020 24% 2,990 15%
Business 590 -10% 2,330 -1%
Miscellaneous 310 7% 740 -16%
  Year To Date (Jan - Dec 16) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs Jan - Dec 15

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
Holiday 13,820 0% Apr 15 - Mar 16 13,960 -140
VFR 11,490 10% Jan 16 - Dec 16 11,490 0
Business 9,080 2% Dec 15 - Nov 16 9,140 -60
Miscellaneous 2,940 0% Apr 07 - Mar 08 3,466 -526

Holiday visits were up 15% in December to 930,000, setting a new December record. The last 3 months are tracking 11% higher than last year, boosted by November and December’s figures and setting a record for the period. For 2016, holiday visits are on par with 2015, at 13.82 million, just short of 2015’s record.

Visits to friends and relatives (VFR) experienced another increase in visits this month, up 24% in December to 1.02 million, setting a new December record. The last 3 months have seen growth of 15%, to 2.99 million visits and setting a new record for this period. As a whole, visits for 2016 are up 10% to 11.49 million setting a new yearly record. Visits for VFR increased for all months except for April throughout 2016 and April’s lack of growth is likely due to an earlier Easter in 2016.

During December 2016, Business visits decreased 10% to 590,000 visits, the weakest December since 2012. The three month period is tracking 1% lower than the same quarter in 2015 due to the weak December. In 2016 business visit numbers were up 2% overall at 9.08 million, setting a new yearly record.

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 December 2016 visits to the UK were 7% higher than the previous year at 310,000. Visits for the last three months are down 16%, driven by decreases across October and November, related to the Rugby World Cup hosted in 2015. 2016 visits are currently on a par with 2015 at 2.94 million.

Visits by global region

  December 2016 Last 3 months (Oct - Dec)
  Visits (000) % change
vs Dec 15
  % change vs Oct - Dec 15
EU15 1,600 10% 5,300 8%
Other EU 390 14% 1,250 9%
Rest of Europe 140 -18% 580 -2%
North America 280 22% 930 15%
Rest of World 450 18% 1,180 -3%
  Year To Date (Jan - Dec 16) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs 

Jan - Dec15

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
EU15 20,660 3% Jan 16 - Dec 16 20,660 0
Other EU 4,640 10% Jan 16 - Dec 16 4,640 0
Rest of Europe 2,290 1% Feb 14 - Jan 15 2,435 -145
North America 4,250 7% Jan 00 - Dec 00 4,869 -619
Rest of World 5,500 -3% Feb 15 - Jan 16 5,663 -163

Visits from EU15 markets were 10% higher than December 2015 at 1.60 million, a new December record. Visits during the last 3 months were up 8% compared to the same period in 2015, setting a new record. During 2016, there were 20.66 million visits from the EU15 region to the UK, a growth rate of 3% and setting a new yearly record and also setting a new 12 month record.

Visits from Other EU markets are up 14% compared to December 2015, setting a new monthly record at 390,000 visits. The last quarter of 2016 saw visits grow 9% to set a new Q4 record. Visits for 2016 were up 10% from this region, to 4.64 million, setting a new yearly record and also for any 12 month period.

The Rest of Europe saw a decline of 18% to 140,000 in December 2016. The last quarter of 2016 was also down 2% on the same period the year before. The full year is tracking 1% up on 2015, boosted by growth scattered throughout the year.

Visits to the UK from North America continue to grow, up 22% in December 2016 to 280,000 visits. Visits were up 15% in the last quarter, to 930,000. 2016 visits are 7% higher than 2015, at 4.25 million, driven by consistent growth throughout the year, and inching closer to the peak visitor numbers recorded in 2000.

Rest of World reported an 18% increase in visits to the UK during December 2016 at 450,000 visits, setting a new December record. Visits in the last quarter are down 3% due to a weaker October, likely to be caused by high visit numbers from the Rugby World Cup in 2015. 2016 visits are down 3% overall, unable to match the records set in 2015.

Explore the quarterly data or read more on the December 2016 results (PDF, 718KB).