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.

This page shows the provisional monthly results for May 2019. Please note that revised data for the period January-March 2019 is available here.

Inbound visitor statistics for May 2019

Visits and spend figures

 

MAY 2019

Last 3 months (MAR - MAY 19)

Year to date (JAN - MAY 19)

    % change vs May 18   % change vs Mar - May 18 % change vs Jan - May 18
All visits (000) 3,280 -6% 9,360 -5% 14,310 -3%
Spend (£m) £2,060 -1% £5,310 -7% £7,920 -6%
 

Rolling 12 months (JUN 18 - MAY 19)

Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months

    % change vs Jun 17- May 18 When Record Current deficit
Total visits (000) 37,520 -2% Sep 16 - Aug 17 39,730 -2,210
Spend (£m) £22,400 -8% Dec 16 - Nov 17 £24,740 -2,340
  • Visits: The UK received 3.3 million overseas visits in May 2019, down 6% year-on-year, following an 8% decline in April; visits in the last three months were down 5% to 9.4 million. There were 14.3 million inbound visits to the UK between January and May 2019, 3% below the inbound visits in the same period in 2018. Overseas visits to the UK in the twelve months to May 2019 were 2% behind June 2017 – May 2018 with 37.5 million visits.
  • Spending: In May 2019 inbound visitors spent £2.1 billion, down 1% on May 2018. Spending in April was down 15% on 2018. With inbound spending down year-on-year in each of the last four months, spend in the year to date was 6% below January – May 2018, and down 7% in the last three months. Overall, overseas visitors to the UK spent £22.4 billion in the twelve months to May 2019, down 8% compared to the previous twelve-month period.

Visits by journey purpose

 

MAY 2019

Last 3 months (MAR - MAY 19)

Year to date (JAN - MAY 19)

  Visits (000) % change vs May 18 Visits (000) % change vs Mar - May 18 Visits (000) % change vs Jan - May 18
Holiday 1,350 -16% 3,770 -6% 5,440 0%
VFR 1,020 7% 2,810 -3% 4,470 -3%
Business 740 2% 2,200 -5% 3,470 -5%
Miscellaneous 170 -8% 570 -3% 910 -5%

 

Rolling 12 months (JUN - MAY 19)

Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months

  Visits (000)

% change vs Jun 17 - May 18

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
Holiday 15,110 2% Oct 16 - Sep 17 15,550 -440
VFR 11,610 -3% Jul 17 - Jun 18 12,110 -500
Business 8,270 -4% Feb 16 - Jan 17 9,290 -1,020
Miscellaneous 2,520 -10% Apr 07 - Mar 08 3,470 -950
  • Holiday visits decreased year-on-year for the first time in 2019 in May, down 16% on 2018. This sharp decline is likely to have been partly influenced by the timing of Whit Monday, a public holiday in many European countries that fell in June 2018 but May 2019; however, it was also the weakest May for holiday visits since 2012. With growth earlier in 2019, holiday visits are down a milder 6% in the past three months and for the year to date period numbers matched 2018 at 5.4 million. In the last twelve months to May 2019, holiday visits were up 2% on the previous twelve-month period to a record 15.1 million.
  • Visits to friends and relatives (VFR) were up 7% in May to 1.0 million, just short of the 2017 record. However, after declining in each previous month this year, they are down 3% in both the past three months and year to date figures compared to the records set in 2018. They are also down 3% in the latest rolling 12 months.
  • Business visits were up 2% in May to 740,000, though well below the record set in 2017. They are down 5% on 2018 in both the last 3 months and year to date figures; in each case the 2018 results were also down on 2017.
  • 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. Visits were down 8% year-on-year in May, down 5% year to date to 910,000 and down 10% over the latest rolling 12 months.

Visits by global region

 

MAY 2019

Last 3 months (MAR - MAY 19)

Year to date (JAN - MAY 19)

  Visits (000) % change
vs May 18
Visits (000) % change vs Mar - May 18 Visits (000) %change vs Jan - May 18
EU Total 2,010 -16% 6,340 -8% 9,780 -4%
EU15 1,570 -19% 4,990 -10% 7,610 -7%
Other EU 440 -1% 1,360 4% 2,160 8%
Rest of Europe 180 13%

600

10% 850 4%
North America 600 31% 1,240 10% 1,710 7%
Rest of World 490 2% 1,180 -7% 1,960 -6%

 

Rolling 12 months (JUN 18 - MAY 19)

Benchmark to best ever rolling 12 months

  Visits (000)

% change vs 

Jun 17 - May 18

When Record (000) Current deficit (000)
EU Total 24,400 -2% Oct 16 - Sep 17 26,280 -1,880
EU15 19,390 -4% May 16 - Apr 17 21,450 -2,060
Other EU 5,020 3% Oct 16 - Sep 17 5,030 -10
Rest of Europe 2,270

-2%

Jan 17 - Dec 17 2,550 -280
North America 4,830 2% Jan 00 - Dec 00 4,870 -40
Rest of World 6,010 -4% Dec 16 - Nov 17 6,370 -360
  • Visits from the EU were down 16% in May to 2.0 million. The timing of Whit Monday, a public holiday in many European countries that fell in June 2018 but May 2019, will have contributed to this decline; however, it was also the weakest May for visits from the EU since 2012. The last three months are down 8% and the year to date down 4%, with the latest rolling year down a milder 2%. Once the June figures are out we should get a better sense of the trend.
    • Within this, visits from the EU15 markets were down 19% in May. They were down 10% in the past 3 months to 5.0 million and down 7% year to date to 7.6 million.
    • Visits from Other EU were, however, down a milder 1% in May; they were up 4% in the past 3 months to 1.4 million and up 8% for the year to date to 2.2 million – both records.
  • Visits to the UK from the Rest of Europe were up 10% in the past 3 months and 4% year to date.
  • Visits from North America were up 31% year-on-year in May to 600,000 – a new record. They were up 10% in the March-May period and 7% year to date to 1.7 million – both the second highest ever after the records set in 2000. Visits in the latest rolling 12 months are up 2% to 4.8 million – just short of the record of 4.9 million, again set in 2000.
  • ‘Rest of World’ markets saw a 2% increase in visits in May 2019 vs May 2018 to 490,000, though short of a new record. However, visits were down 7% in the March-May period and year to date, compared to 2018, and are 4% down in the latest rolling 12 months.

 

Explore the quarterly data or read more on the May 2019 results (PDF, 692KB).