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 2017

Visits and spend figures

  May 2017

Last 3 months (Mar - May 17)

Year to Date (Jan - May 17)
    % change vs May 16   % change vs Mar - May 16     % change vs Jan - May 16
All visits (000) 3,520 -2% 10,240 10%   15,540 9%
Spend (£m) £2,050 5% £5,640 14%   £8,420 14%
  Rolling 12 months (Jun 16 - May 17) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
    % change vs Jun15 - May 16 When Record Current deficit
Total visits (000) 38,890 6% Mar 16 - Apr 17 38,960 -70
Spend (£m) £23,560 7% Jun 16 - May 17 £23,560 0
  • Visits:  The UK received 3.5 million overseas visits in May, not quite enough to match the record levels seen in May 2016.  However, with record breaking results set in the first four months of this year, there were 10.2 million visits between March to May – a new three months to May record.  Likewise, over the longer term rolling 12 months to May 2017 there were a record setting 38.9 million visits to the UK, 6% higher than the previous 12 months. 
  • Spending: May spending rose 5% compared to May 2016 to reach a record £2.1 billion.  So far this year, visitors have spent £8.4 billion, a record and the first time spending has reached more than £8 billion in the first five months of a year.  Spending over the last 12 months is up 7%, at £23.6 billion and setting a new record for the highest spend in any 12 month period.

 

Visits by journey purpose

  May 2017

Last 3 months (Mar - May 17)

Year to Date (Jan - May 17)
  Visits (000) % change vs May 16 Visits (000) % change vs Mar - May 16 Visits (000) % change vs Jan - May 16
Holiday 1,530 2% 4,300 21% 5,980 20%
VFR 860 -17% 2,850 7% 4,620 4%
Business 870 8% 2,370 -3% 3,730 -2%
Miscellaneous 260 2% 730 8% 1,210 15%
  Rolling 12 months (Jun 16 - May 17) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs Jun 15 - May 16

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
Holiday 14,910 9% Jun 16 - May 17 14,910 0
VFR 11,760 8% Mar 16 - Apr 17 11,930 -170
Business 9,110 0% Feb 16 - Jan 17 9,300 -190
Miscellaneous 3,110 2% Apr 07 - Mar 08 3,470 -360
  • Holiday visits were up 2% in May to 1.5 million.  Building on recent strong results there have been 6 million holiday visits in the first five months of 2017, up 20% on the start of 2016 and the first time nearly 6 million holiday visits have arrived in the UK before June.  Over the longer term rolling 12 months to May 2017, the UK welcomed a record 14.9 million holiday visits – a record and 9% higher than the previous 12 month period.
  • Visits to friends and relatives (VFR) were the only journey purpose to report a decline in May this year – down 17% compared to the record May 2016. After particularly positive results in March and April, VFR visits are 7% up in the three months to May and 4% higher than at the same time last year.  With 4.6 million visits in the first five months of 2017, this is the best start to the year seen for VFR visitors. Visits for the latest 12 months are up 8% to 11.8 million, a new record.
  • Business visits have fluctuated so far in 2017, with only January and May registering growth.  There were a record 870,000 visits in May (8% more than May 2016) but a slower pace is notable over the medium and long term.  Due to a strong end of 2016, business results for the 12 months to May 2017 were just enough to match the previous record of 9.1 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 May 2017 visits to the UK were 2% higher than the previous year at 260,000.  With new monthly records set in three out of the last five months, visits are up 15% so far this year.  Visits during the last 12 months are currently up 2% at 3.1 million.

 

Visits by global region

  May 2017

Last 3 months (Mar - May 17)

Year to Date (Jan - May 17)
  Visits (000) % change
vs May 16
Visits (000) % change vs Mar - May 16 Visits (000) % change vs Jan - May 16
EU Total 2,270 -10% 6,970 3% 10,700 4%
EU15 1,840 -13% 5,750 3% 8,770 5%
Other EU 440 8% 1,220 1% 1,940 0%
Rest of Europe 230 -13% 750 18% 1,090 13%
North America 500 34% 1,190 31% 1,590 22%
Rest of World 510 21% 1,340 31% 2,150 25%
  Rolling 12 months (Jun 16 - May 17) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs 

Jun 15 - May 16

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
EU Total 25,920 5% May 16 - Apr 17 26,180 -260
EU15 21,180 4% May 16 - Apr 17 21,460 -280
Other EU 4,750 7% Feb 16 - Jan 17 4,760 -10
Rest of Europe 2,420 2% May 16 - Apr 17 2,460 -40
North America 4,570 15% Jan 00 - Dec 00 4,870 -300
Rest of World 5,980 7% Jun 16 - May 17 5,980 0
  • Visits to the UK from all EU markets in May 2017 fell 10% compared to May last year to 2.3 million.  Over the medium term, visits from these high volume markets are tracking above 2016 levels with a record 10.7 million visits in the first five months of the year.
  • Looking specifically at visits from EU15 markets, these also fell during May this year – down 13% compared to the record setting May 2016. Visits during the last three months were up 3% compared to the same period the year before.  In the first five months of 2017 visits from the EU15 markets were up 5% compared to the start of 2017 – setting a new record after strong growth in January, March and April.  In the rolling 12 months to May 2017, there were a record 21.2 million visits from EU15 markets, up 4% on the previous twelve months.
  • Visits from all Other EU markets were 8% above May 2016, at 440,000 visits.  After some weaker month on month performances at the start of 2017 visits during the first five months of 2017 are on par with the first five months of 2016.  Visits were up 7% over the longer term 12 months from June 2016. 
  • After 2 months of double digit visits growth from the Rest of Europe, visits fell 13% compared to the current record holding May 2016. Buoyed by previous strong results, visits for the last three months and year to date are both reporting double digit increases.
  • Visits to the UK from North America jumped 34% in May 2017 to a new May record of 500,000. Building on strong performance over most of the last five months, visits were up 22% during the first five months of 2017 – though not quite reaching the highs recorded at the start of 2000.  In the last 12 months, the UK received 4.6 million visits from this region, an increase of 15%. 
  • Rest of World reported a 21% increase in visits to the UK during May 2017, setting a new May record and the fourth consecutive month of double digit month on month increases.  Visits for the last three months are up 31%.  In the five months from January to May 2017, there were 2.2 million visits, the highest number of visits ever recorded from these markets in the first five months of a year.

Explore the quarterly data or read more on the May 2017 results (PDF, 734KB).