Latest monthly data

The latest available monthly 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 2019

Visits and spend figures

  March 2019

Year to date (Jan - Mar 19)

    % change vs Mar 18   % change vs Jan - Mar 18
All visits (000) 2,940 -2% 7,780 -1%
Spend (£m) £1,650 -8% £4,260 -5%
  Rolling 12 months (Apr 18 - Mar 19) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
    % change vs Apr 17- Mar 18 When Record Current deficit
Total visits (000) 37,800 -3% Sep 16 - Aug 17 39,730 -1,930
Spend (£m) £22,690 -8% Dec 16 - Nov 17 £24,740 -2,050
  • Visits: The UK received 2.9 million overseas visits in March 2019, down 2% year-on-year. There were 7.8 million inbound visits to the UK between January and March 2019, just 1% below the inbound visits in the same period in 2018 (although that was itself down on 2017’s record). Overseas visits to the UK in the twelve months to March 2019 were 3% behind April 2017 – March 2018 with 37.8 million visits.
  • Spending: In March 2019 inbound visitors spent £1.65 billion, 8% behind the record breaking March in 2018. With inbound spending down year-on-year in the first three months of 2019, visitors spent 5% less in January-March 2019 than the record set in Q1 2018. Overall, overseas visitors to the UK spent £22.7 billion in the twelve months to March 2019, down 8% compared to the previous twelve-month period.

Visits by journey purpose

  March 2019

Year to date (Jan - Mar 19)

  Visits (000) % change vs Mar 18 Visits (000) % change vs Jan - Mar 18
Holiday 1,050 -1% 2,690 7%
VFR 860 -5% 2,500 -5%
Business 840 2% 2,080 -4%
Miscellaneous 190 -7% 520 -11%
  Rolling 12 months (Apr - Mar 19) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs Apr 17 - Mar 18

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
Holiday 15,300 2% Oct 16 - Sep 17 15,550 -250
VFR 11,630 -3% Jul 17 - Jun 18 12,110 -480
Business 8,370 -5% Feb 16 - Jan 17 9,290 -920
Miscellaneous 2,520 -15% Apr 07 - Mar 08 3,470 -950
  • Holiday visits decreased for the first time in 2019, with March 2019 inbound visits down 1% on March 2018, to 1.1 million. With more positive results in January and February 2019, overseas holiday visits to the UK in the first three months of 2019 were up 7% on January-March 2018, hitting 2.7 million visits. Overall, there were 15.3 million holiday visits in the last twelve months to March 2019, up 2% on the previous twelve-month period.  
  • Visits to friends and relatives (VFR) were down 5% year-on-year to 860,000 visits in March 2019. With sluggish results reported in 8 out of the last 12 months to March 2019, VFR visits to the UK in the those last twelve months were 3% below the previous rolling twelve months in 2017-2018 with 11.6 million visits. 
  • Business visits reached a new record for March, with 840,000 in March 2019 from inbound markets, up 2% year-on-year. However, with fewer inbound business visits in 9 out of the last 12 months, numbers in the latest rolling 12 months were 5% down on those seen between April 2017 and March 2018.
  • 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. Compared to the other journey purpose categories, miscellaneous visits represent a smaller proportion of inbound UK visits and results do tend to fluctuate. In March 2019 there were 7% fewer visits to the UK for miscellaneous purposes than in March 2018. With mostly negative year-on-year results reported in 2018 and in February and March 2019, miscellaneous visits in the rolling twelve months to March 2019 are down 15%, compared to the previous twelve-month period.

Visits by global region

  March 2019

Year to date (Jan - Mar 19)

  Visits (000) % change
vs Mar 18
Visits (000) % change vs Jan - Mar 18
EU Total 2,090 -3% 5,420 -1%
EU15 1,610 -5% 4,210 -2%
Other EU 480 3% 1,210 4%
Rest of Europe 200 31%

450

4%
North America 320 -9% 810 5%
Rest of World 330 -15% 1,100 -9%
  Rolling 12 months (Apr 18 - Mar 19) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs 

Apr 17 - Mar 18

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
EU Total 24,750 -2% Oct 16 - Sep 17 26,280 -1,530
EU15 19,850 -2% May 16 - Apr 17 21,450 -1,600
Other EU 4,900 0% Oct 16 - Sep 17 5,030 -130
Rest of Europe 2,250

-7%

Jan 17 - Dec 17 2,550 -300
North America 4,760 0% Jan 00 - Dec 00 4,870 -110
Rest of World 6,030 -5% Dec 16 - Nov 17 6,370 -340
  • In March 2019 there were 2.1 million visits to the UK from all EU markets, down 3% on the record-holding March 2018, and so still the second-highest March on record. With 5.4 million visits, visits in January-March 2019 were just behind 2018 (-1%). However, there were sluggish results in 8 of the last 12 months to March 2019, so the rolling twelve months to date were 2% behind the previous twelve-month period.
  • Visits to the UK from the EU15 markets followed a very similar trend. There were 1.6 million visits to the UK in March 2019, down 5% on March 2018. Those visits were down 2% in both in the first quarter of 2019 vs Q1 2018, and the last twelve months to March 2019 vs April 2017-March 2018.
  • Visits from all Other EU markets to the UK reached a new record in March, up 3% on March 2018 to 480,000 visits. Following on a strong February 2019 as well, visits in Jan-March were the strongest first quarter to date, up 4% year-on-year to 1.2 million. The last twelve months to March 2019 were on par with the previous year, with 4.9 million visits.
  • Visits to the UK from the Rest of Europe were up 31% year-on-year in March 2019, with 200,000 visits, the second-best March on record. Looking at the last twelve months to March 2019, despite 3 of them showing positive results, visits over the longer term (rolling twelve months) declined 7% compared to the same time frame the year before. 
  • There were 320,000 visits from North America in March 2019, 9% more than in March 2018. Visits in January-March 2019 were up 5% on Q1 2018 and the highest seen since 2006. However, with five out of the twelve months to March 2019 down year-on-year, visits in this period on this period were just on par with April 2017 – March 2018 visits.
  • ‘Rest of World’ markets saw a 15% decline in visits in March 2019 vs March 2018. At a rolling twelve-month view, 6.0 million visits were received from ‘Rest of World’ markets, a 5% drop on April 2017 – March 2018.

Explore the quarterly data or read more on the March 2019 results (PDF, 683KB).