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 September 2016

Visits and spend figures

  September 2016 Last 3 months (Jul - Sep) Year To Date (Jan - Sep 16)
    % change vs September 15   % change vs. Jul '15 - Sep ’15   % change vs Jan-Sep 15
All visits (000) 3,120 1% 10,690 2% 28,130 3%
Spend (£m) £2,110 -6% 7,210 1% £16,690 0%
  Rolling 12 months
(Oct 15 - Sep 16)
Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
    % change vs Oct 14-Sep 15 When Record Current deficit
Total visits (000) 36,820 4% Oct 15 - Sep 16 36,820 0
Spend (£m) £22,010 1% Sep 15 - Aug 16 £22,140 -130

Visits: The UK received 3.12 million overseas visits in September, up 1% year-on-year, a new record for the month of September. In the past three months, visits are 2% up compared to July-September 2015 at 10.69 million. Year to date visits are tracking 3% ahead of the same time period last year. In the 12 month period to September the UK received 4% more inbound visits than the previous 12 months at 36.82 million visits. Each of these time periods represented new records for inbound visits to Britain.

Spending: September spending is down 6% on the same month last year at £2.11 billion, following two months of consecutive year-on-year growth. The last 3 months’ spend is tracking 1% up against the same period last year due to favourable results across July and August 2016. Spend year to date is flat driven in part by the weaker months for spending in the first half of the year, pre-referendum. The expenditure total for the 12 months to September reached £22.01 billion, narrowly missing the all-time spending record set last month.

 

Visits by journey purpose

  September 2016 Last 3 months (Jul - Sep) Year To Date (Jan - Sep 16)
  Visits (000) % change vs August 15   % change vs Jul 15-Sep 15 Visits (000) % change vs Jan-Sep 15
Holiday 1,120 1% 4,390 -2% 10,620 -3%
VFR 860 2% 3,220 5% 8,500 8%
Business 870 7% 2,130 3% 6,760 4%
Miscellaneous 270 14% 940 7% 2,240 9%
  Rolling 12 months
(Oct 15 - Sep 16)
Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs Oct 14-Sep 15

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
Holiday 13,470 -2% Apr 15-Mar 16 13,998 -528
VFR 11,090 8% Oct 15 - Sep 16 11,090 0
Business 9,110 4% May 15-Apr 16 9,113 -3
Miscellaneous 3,130 14% Apr 07-Mar 08 3,466 -336

Holiday visits were up 1% in September to 1.12 million, following 5 months of year-on-year declines. The last 3 months and year to date visits are tracking 2% and 3% lower than the same periods last year. Holiday visits in the 12 months to September are currently just 2% lower than the 12 months prior, boosted by a strong Q4 2015 and Q1 2016.

Visits to friends and relatives (VFR) experienced another increase in visits this month, up 2% in September at 860,000, setting a new record for September. The last 3 months have seen growth of 5%, while visits year to date and rolling 12 months are both tracking 8% against the same time last year. All of these periods set new records, as visits for this purpose continues to see consistent growth.

During September 2016, Business visits saw a strong growth of 7% following 3 months of stable results. Due to high growth seen in the earlier months of 2016, the year to date and rolling 12 months are both tracking 4% higher than the same time period last year, with year to date setting a new record. Business visit numbers in the rolling 12 months to September 2016 have reached 9.11 million – equalling the best ever results recorded for this journey purpose.

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 September 2016 visits to the UK for miscellaneous purposes were 14% lower than the same period last year. The Rugby World Cup, hosted in the UK in September 2015 is a likely driving factor for this month’s weaker result. Year to date there have been 2.24 million visits, 9% more than the same period a year before. Miscellaneous visits to the UK were tracking 14% higher in the 12 months to September 2016 than during the previous 12 month period.

Visits by global region

  September 2016 Last 3 months (Jul - Sep) Year To Date (Jan - Sep 16)
  Visits (000) % change
vs Sep 15
  % change vs Jul 15-Sep 15 Visits (000)

% change vs 

Jan-Sep 15

EU15 1,510 1% 5,350 1% 15,360 2%
Other EU 370 -4% 1,080 2% 3,370 9%
Rest of Europe 210 4% 560 -12% 1,690 1%
North America 420 7% 1,510 8% 3,290 4%
Rest of World 620 2% 2,180 3% 4,420 0%
  Rolling 12 months
(Oct 15 - Sep 16)
Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000) % change vs Oct 14-Sep 15 When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
EU15 20,270 3% Jun 15 - May 16 20,290 -20
Other EU 4,520 10% Aug 15 - Jul 16 4,547 -27
Rest of Europe 2,280 -1% Feb 14-Jan 15 2,435 -155
North America 4,100 6% Jan 00-Dec 00 4,869 -769
Rest of World 5,640 3% Feb 15-Jan 16 5,663 -23

Visits from EU15 markets this month were 1% higher than September 2015 at 1.51 million. The last 3 months saw similar results, up 1% compared to the same period last year. For 2016 so far, there were 15.36 million visits from the EU 15 region to the UK, growing by 2% and setting a new record for the period. The rolling 12 month result achieved at 20.27 million visits, an increase of 3% year-on-year.

Visits from Other EU markets are down 4% compared to September 2015. The longer term view, however presents a more favourable outlook. Year to date, visits are tracking 9% ahead of the same time period last year and on a rolling 12 month view visits are at 4.52 million, a growth of 10% year-on-year.

The Rest of Europe saw a growth in visits of 4% to 210,000. The 3 months to September 2016 were down 12% on the same period the year before, due to weaker July results. The year to date is currently up 1% compared to last year and the 12 month period to September 2016 is 1% lower on the previous 12 months, at 2.28 million visits.

Visits to the UK from North America continue to record positive results, up 7% in September 2016 to 420,000 visits. Visits were up 8% in the 3 months to September 2016 and 4% up for year to date, driven by consistently favourable monthly results, particular since the EU referendum in June. The rolling 12 months result is tracking 6% ahead of the 12 months previously at 4.10 million visits. While the 12 month total continues to exceed the 4 million mark, these results still fall short of the record highs recorded in the year 2000.

Rest of World reported an increase in visits to the UK of 2% during September 2016 at 620,000 visits, a new record for the month of September. Visits in the last 3 months are 3% higher than the same period last year and year to date is stable. Visits to the UK in the rolling twelve months to September 2016 were tracking 3% higher at 5.64 million.

Explore the quarterly data or read more on the September 2016 results (PDF, 641KB).