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 January 2019

Visits and spend figures

  January 2019

Last 3 months (Nov 18 - Jan 19)

    % change vs Jan 18   % change vs Nov 17 - Jan 18
All visits (000) 2,640 6% 8,430 3%
Spend (£m) £1,460 0% £4,750 -1%
  Rolling 12 months (Feb 18 - Jan 19) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
    % change vs Feb 17- Jan 18 When Record Current deficit
Total visits (000) 37,950 -2% Sep 16 - Aug 17 39,730 -1,780
Spend (£m) £22,720 -7% Dec 16 - Nov 17 £24,740 -2,020
  • Visits: The UK welcomed 2.6 million overseas visits in January 2019, up 6% compared to January 2018. This was the second highest level of January visits (the record holder is January 2017). There were 8.4 million inbound visits to the UK between November 2018 and January 2019, up 3% on the same period in 2017/2018.  Despite these more positive results, overseas visits to the UK in the twelve months to January 2019 were 2% behind the record previous twelve months with 38.0 million visits.
  • Spending: In January 2019 inbound visitors spent £1.5 billion – on par with the first month of 2018. In the 3 months from November 2018 to January 2019 visitors spent a total of £4.8 billion, just 1% below the 3 months to January 2018. As with visits, more recent results have not been enough to offset the year on year monthly declines posted earlier in 2018.  In the twelve months to January 2019, visitors to the UK spent a total £22.7 billion, 7% lower compared to the previous (record holding) 12 month period.

Visits by journey purpose

  January 2019

Last 3 months (Nov 18 - Jan 19)

  Visits (000) % change vs Jan 18 Visits (000) % change vs Nov 17 - Jan 18
Holiday 880 25% 3,000 15%
VFR 960 -4% 2,830 -4%
Business 630 0% 2,010 0%
Miscellaneous 170 8% 580 -9%
  Rolling 12 months (Feb 18 - Jan 19) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs Feb 17 - Jan 18

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
Holiday 15,210 1% Oct 16 - Sep 17 15,550 -340
VFR 11,650 -2% Jul 17 - Jun 18 12,100 -450
Business 8,500 -3% Feb 16 - Jan 17 9,290 -790
Miscellaneous 2,580 -13% Apr 07 - Mar 08 3,470 -890
  • Holiday visits were up 25% to 880,000 in January 2019, compared to January 2018 – though this wasn’t quite enough to claim any new January record (set in January 2017).  There were a record 3 million holiday visits (the first time holiday visits have exceeded 3 million for the Nov-Jan period) to the UK in the 3 months to January 2019 as the strong finish to 2018 carried on into the start of 2019. Holiday visits for the twelve months from February 2018 were up 1% on the previous twelve month period to a new rolling twelve month to January record of 15.2 million.  
  • Visits to friends and relatives (VFR) were down 4% year on year to 960,000 visits in January 2019.  However, with sluggish results reported in 7 out of the last 12 months, VFR visits to the UK in the twelve months to January 2019 were 2% below the record set in the previous rolling twelve months at 11.6 million visits. 
  • Business visits were on par with January 2018 at 630,000.  With just over 2 million business visits to the UK in the 3 months to January 2019, this too is on par with November 2017 to January 2018. With mixed month on month results during 2018 any positives were not enough to offset the scale of declines and as a result business visits were down 3% in the twelve months to January 2019 (compared to the previous 12 month period).
  • 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 January 2019 there were 8% more visits to the UK for miscellaneous purposes than in January 2018. With mostly negative results reported in 2018, miscellaneous visits in the rolling twelve months to January 2019 are down 13%, compared to the pervious twelve month period.

Visits by global region

  January 2019

Last 3 months (Nov 18 - Jan 19)

  Visits (000) % change
vs Jan 18
Visits (000) % change vs Nov 17  - Jan 18
EU Total 1,760 10% 5,830 5%
EU15 1,400 14% 4,680 7%
Other EU 360 -3% 1,130 -2%
Rest of Europe 130 -8% 520 -7%
North America 300 15% 810 -4%
Rest of World 450 -8% 1,280 2%
  Rolling 12 months (Feb 18 - Jan 19) Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months
  Visits (000)

% change vs 

Feb 17 - Jan 18

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
EU Total 24,870 -1% Oct 16 - Sep 17 26,280 -1,410
EU15 20,060 -1% May 16 - Apr 17 21,450 -1,390
Other EU 4,790 -2% Oct 16 - Sep 17 5,030 -240
Rest of Europe 2,230

-11%

Jan 17 - Dec 17 2,550 -320
North America 4,790 1% Jan 00 - Dec 00 4,870 -80
Rest of World 6,070 -4% Dec 16 - Nov 17 6,370 -300
  • There were 1.8 million visits to the UK from all EU markets in January 2019, up 10% on January 2018.  There was a late surge in visits towards the end of 2018, which means visits in the 3 months to January 2019 were up 5% compared to November 2017 and January 2018.  With 24.9 million visits from the EU in the 12 months to January 2019, visits are down just 1% compared to the previous twelve months.
  • Visits to the UK from the EU15 markets followed a very similar trend. There were 1.4 million visits to the UK in January 2019, up 14% on January 2018.  Between November 2018 and January 2019 visits were 7% up on the same 3 months of 2017/2018.  The combined EU15 markets are an important inbound market for the UK and with 20.1 million visits from these markets in the twelve months to January 2019, this is just below (1%) the levels seen in the previous twelve month period.
  • Visits from all Other EU markets to the UK fluctuated on a month by month basis in 2018, compared to 2017, and were down a further 3% in January 2019.  While December 2018 posted a 6% rise, visits in the 3 months to January 2019 were down 2%.
  • Visits to the UK from the Rest of Europe fell 8% year-on-year in January 2019.  With depressed or flat results in every month of 2018 (except December), visits in the 3 months to January 2019 and longer term rolling twelve months are both down. 
  • There were 300,000 visits from North America in January 2019, 15% more than in January 2018.  With relatively weaker results towards the end of 2018, visits in the 3 months to January 2019 are 4% below the some period a year ago, but in line (up 1%) over the longer term rolling the twelve months to January 2019 (compared to the twelve months to January 2018).
  • ‘Rest of World’ markets saw an 8% decline in visits in January 2019, compared to January 2018. Combined with strong November 2018 results, visits in the 3 months to January 2019 were at a record 1.3 million.  However, with declines seen earlier in 2018, provisional results for the twelve months to January 2019 show a 4% decline, compared to the record set in in the twelve months to January 2018.

Explore the quarterly data or read more on the January 2019 results (PDF, 556KB).