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 May 2015

Visits and spend figures

Spend & Visits May 2015 Year to date (Jan-May 15)

Rolling 12 months

(Jun14-May 15)

    % change
vs May 14
  % change vs Jan-May 14  

% change vs Jun13-May14

All visits (000) 3,560 9% ↑ 13,580 4% ↑ 34,920 4% ↑
Spend (£m) £1,930 8% ↑ £7,190 -1% ↓ 21,810 1%↑

Overseas visitors spent a record £1.93 billion (in nominal terms) while in the UK during May, 8% more than the previous record set in 2014.  During the first five months of 2015 (between January and May) visitor spending was on par with the amount spent during the same period in 2014.  Over the longer term view of the last twelve months, visitors spent a combined £21.81 billion in the UK a nominal 1% increase, compared to the previous twelve months.

May was also a record breaker for visits.  The UK welcomed 3.56 million visits in the month, 9% more than in May 2014.  It has been a strong start to the year, with visits over the first five months of the year topping all previous records at 13.58 million – 4% more than the previous record set last year.  In the twelve months to May 2014, there were 4% more visits to the UK, just short of 35 million but still the highest rolling twelve month period on record.

Visits by journey purpose

By journey purpose May 2015 Last 3 months (Mar-May) Year to date (Jan-May)
  Visits (000) % change
vs May 14
Visits (000) % change vs Mar-May14 Visits (000) % change vs Jan-May14
Holiday 1,570 8%  3,790 7%  5,080 2% ↑
VFR 870 6% ↑ 2,430 6% ↑ 3,930 4% ↑
Business 890 13% ↑ 2,270 10% ↑ 3,630 12% ↑
Miscellaneous 240 12% ↑ 620 -6% ↓ 940 -7% ↓

Building on the strong results in both May and during the first five months of 2014, the three main journey purpose groups all reported increases.  Holiday visits posted a 3rd consecutive month of record breaking visits, with holiday visits tracking 7% more in the three months to May 2015 than they did in the same period last year.  Business visits posted double digit percentage growth in May 2015 (up 13%) compared to May last year, setting a new May record.  Continuing their recovery post the global financial crisis, business visits in the first five months of 2015 are on par with the current record first five months of 2008.  Visits to friends and relatives (VFR) visit rose 6% in May.

Visits by world region

By world region May 2015 Last 3 months (Mar-May) Year to date (Jan-May)
  Visits (000) % change
vs May14
Visits (000) % change vs Mar-May14 Visits (000) % change vs Jan-May14
EU15 2,010 9% ↑ 5,520 10% ↑ 7,990 4% ↑
Other EU 450 42% ↑ 1,060 16% ↑ 1,700 20% ↑
Rest of Europe 200 -16% ↓ 560 -12% ↓ 860 -9% ↓
North America 430 8% ↑ 900 -2% ↓ 1,260 1% ↑
Rest of the world 470 -1% ↓ 1,080 -1% ↓ 1,760 1% ↑

Visits from the EU15 countries passed the 2 million mark again in May – the second consecutive month to do so with April and May 2015 the only months to ever top 2 million visits in a month from these markets.  EU15 visits fell just short of the 8 million mark during the first 5 months of 2015, but remain 4% higher than in the first five months of 2014 and set a new five month to May record.

For visits from Other EU countries to the UK May was an exceptional month – up 42% compared to May 2014, which is borne out in the last 3 month, year to date and rolling 12 month results, up on all previous levels.  It is important to bear in mind the International Passenger Survey (IPS) is a sample survey and as a result can show fluctuations from month to month and is designed to be robust at the annual level. 

Explore the quarterly data or read more on the May 2015 results.