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 2017

Visits and spend figures

  March 2017

Last 3 months (Jan - Mar 17)

    % change vs Mar 16   % change vs Jan - Mar 16
All visits (000) 2,920 11% 8,070 7%
Spend (£m) £1,510 14% £4,180 11%
  Rolling 12 months (Apr 16 - Mar 17) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
    % change vs Apr 15 - Mar 16 When Record Current deficit
Total visits (000) 38,130 4% Apr 16 - Mar 17 38,130 0
Spend (£m) £22,960 4% Apr 16 - Mar 17 £22,960 0

Visits: The UK received 2.9 million overseas visits in March, 11% higher than last year and setting a new March record. There have been 8.1 million visits so far in 2017, up 7% on the same period in 2016 and setting a new record. In the last 12 month period, visits are tracking 4% ahead of the period before, at 38.1 million visits and setting a new record for highest volume of visits in any 12 month period.

Spending: March spending is up 14% on last year at £1.51 billion, and setting a new March record. So far this year, visitors have spent £4.18 billion, setting a new record for the first three months of the year. Spending over the last 12 months is up 4%, at £22.96 billion and setting a new record for the highest spend in any 12 month period.

 

Visits by journey purpose

  March 2017

Last 3 months (Jan - Mar 17)

  Visits (000) % change vs Mar 16 Visits (000) % change vs Jan - Mar 16
Holiday 1,100 23% 2,730 18%
VFR 860 14% 2,550 2%
Business 770 -6% 2,140 -1%
Miscellaneous 190 11% 660 19%
  Rolling 12 months (Apr 16 - Mar 17) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs Apr 15 - Mar16

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
Holiday 14,310 2% Apr 16 - Mar 17 14,310 0
VFR 11,610 8% Apr 16 - Mar 17 11,610 0
Business 9,160 2% Feb 16 - Jan 17 9,190 -30
Miscellaneous 3,060 4% Apr 07 - Mar 08 3,466 -406

Holiday visits were up 23% in March to 1.1 million, setting a new March record and the first March to see 1 million holiday visits. So far this year there have been 2.7 million holiday visits, up 18% on 2016 and setting a new record. The latest 12 month period shows holiday visits up 2% on the period before, setting a new record at 14.3 million visits.

Visits to friends and relatives (VFR) were up 14% in March, setting a new record at 860,000 visits. The first 3 months on 2016 have seen growth of 2%, to 2.6 million visits and setting a new record for this period, due to strong January and March figures. Visits for the latest 12 months are up 8% to 11.6 million, a new record.

During March 2017, Business visits decreased 6% on last year to 770,000 visits. The three month period is tracking 1% lower than the year before, due to weaker numbers in February and March. During the last 12 months, business visit numbers were up 2% overall at 9.2 million.

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 2017 visits to the UK were 11% higher than the previous year at 190,000. So far this year, visits are up 19%, boosted by strong performance for individual months. Visits during the last 12 months are currently up 4%; however, they are still short of the record set in 2008.

Visits by global region

  March 2017

Last 3 months (Jan - Mar 17)

  Visits (000) % change
vs Mar 16
Visits (000) % change vs Jan - Mar 16
EU15 1,630 7% 4,580 7%
Other EU 390 -9% 1,070 -8%
Rest of Europe 190 10% 530 6%
North America 360 43% 760 17%
Rest of World 350 32% 1,140 18%
  Rolling 12 months (Apr 16 - Mar 17) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs 

Apr 15 - Mar 16

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
EU15 21,040 4% Apr 16 - Mar 17 21,040 0
Other EU 4,660 5% Apr 16 - Mar 17 4,660 0
Rest of Europe 2,330 1% Feb 14 - Jan 15 2,435 -105
North America 4,390 9% Jan 00 - Dec 00 4,869 -479
Rest of World 5,720 1% Feb 15 - Jan 16 5,663 -10

Visits from EU15 markets were 7% higher than March 2016 at a record 1.6 million. Visits during the last 3 months were up 7% compared to the same period the year before, setting a new record for this period. In the last 12 months, there were 21.0 million visits from EU15 markets, up 4% on the year before, setting a new record.

Visits from Other EU markets were down 9% compared to last year, at 390,000 visits. The last three months were down 8% at 1.1 million due to a weak start to the year. Visits were up 5% to 4.7 million for the last 12 months, just short of the record set at the end of 2016.

The Rest of Europe visits increased 10% in March 2017. The last three months were up 6% on the same period the year before, setting a new record. The latest 12 months are up 1%, although short of 2015’s record.

After record strong growth, visits to the UK from North America increased 43% in March 2017 to 360,000 visits. Visits were up 17% so far this year, at 760,000. During the last 12 months, the UK received 4.4 million visits from this region, 9% higher than the period before, driven by consistent growth throughout the year, and inching closer to the peak visitor numbers recorded in 2000.

Rest of World reported a 32% increase in visits to the UK during March 2017 at 350,000 visits, setting a new March record. Visits for the first three months of 2017 are up 18%, again setting a new record. Visits for the latest 12 month period and tracking 1% higher than the period before, at 5.7 million and setting a new record.

Explore the quarterly data or read more on the March 2017 results (PDF, 644KB).