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 2015

Visits and spend figures

Spend & Visits September 2015 Year to date 
(Jan-Sep 15)

Rolling 12 months
(Oct 14-Sep 15)

    % change
vs Sep 14
  % change vs Jan-Sep 14  

% change vs Oct 13-Sep 14

All visits (000) 3,030 2% 27,130 3% 35,180 3%
Spend (£m) £2,180 0% £16,470 -2% £21,560 -2%

Visits: The UK saw 3.03 million inbound visits in September 2015, 2% up from September 2014 although 1% below the September record set back in 2006. Year to date, visit numbers are also 3% up on January-September 2014 at 27.13 million and the rolling 12 months to September are also 3% up at 35.18 million – setting new records for both measures.

Spending: Overseas visitors spent £2.18 billion while in the UK during September 2015, the same as in September 2014 and 2013 and therefore equalling the previous record numbers. Inbound spending is 2% down year to date and in the rolling 12 months to September 2015, at £16.47 billion and £21.56 billion respectively, in both cases the second highest numbers recorded.

This analysis is based on the provisional IPS data that has been released by the ONS so far this year. July to September data will be revised by the ONS early next year.


Visits by journey purpose

By journey purpose September 2015 Last 3 months (Jul-Sep) Year to date (Jan-Sep)
  Visits (000) % change
vs Sep 14
Visits (000) % change vs Jul-Sep 14 Visits (000) % change vs Jan-Sep 14
Holiday 1,080 -3% 4,390 -1% 10,840 0%
VFR 830 3% 3,020 11% 7,790 6%
Business 810 -5% 2,050 1% 6,480 8%
Miscellaneous 300 43% 850 3% 2,020 -2%

Holiday visits were down 3% in September 2015, compared to the September record set last year, at almost 1.1 million visits. Over the last three months, visit numbers are down 1% on 2014; July showed the highest ever number of visits, offset by August and September’s declines. Despite the decline seen in the last two months, over the longer term period of the first eight months of this year holiday visits remain on par with the record results recorded over the first eight months of 2014 at 10.84 million.

Business visits were 5% down in September 2015, compared to 2014, at 0.81 million. However, putting these numbers into context, this was the first year on year decline seen in any month since February and the general recent trend has been very strong for this journey purpose. The last three months have seen business visits 1% up on 2014. Year to date visits are up by 8%; revised estimates for the first half of the year show business visits finally beating their record set back in 2006 before the global financial crisis.

Visits to friends and relatives (VFR) rose by 3% in September 2015 compared to 2014. With 0.83 million visits in September and 3.02 million in the July-September period, each of the last three months has seen a new record for this journey purpose in recent times. Visits are 11% against July-September 2014. Year to date, the UK has seen 7.79 million VFR visits, up 6% on 2014, with revised estimates for the first half of the year confirming a record result.

Miscellaneous journey purpose types were up year on year by some 43% in September although are 2% down year to date; this journey purpose is the smallest and most volatile. It includes study visits and visits to watch sport (as well as many other purposes).


Visits by world region

By world region September 2015 Last 3 months (Jul-Sep) Year to date (Jan-Sep)
  Visits (000) % change
vs Sep 14
Visits (000) % change vs Jul-Sep 14 Visits (000) % change vs Jan-Sep 14
EU15 1,470 -2% 5,200 -2% 14,920 1%
Other EU 380 32% 1,050 24% 3,060 20%
Rest of Europe 200 3% 610 -5% 1,660 -9%
North America 390 -6% 1,380 11% 3,120 7%
Rest of the World 600 1% 2,090 5% 4,390 3%


Visits from EU15 markets were 2% down in September 2015 at 1.47 million; they were also down 2% in the last three months, compared to July-September 2014, at 5.20 million. Year to date, however, visits are up slightly (1%) on 2014 with 14.92 million visits setting a new record for the first nine months of the year.

Visits from Other EU markets have seen the strongest year on year growth in 2015. In September visits from this region were 32% higher than in 2014 at 0.38 million; in the last three months, visits were 24% up on 2014 and breaking 1 million visits for this period for the first time. Year to date, visits are 20% higher than in January-September 2014 after setting records in seven of the nine months of the year and surpassing 3 million visits by September for the first time.

Visits from Rest of Europe were up 3% in September at 0.20 million although are down in the last three months and year to date.

Visits from North America were 6% down in September at 0.39 million although the story of the year overall has been of strong growth. Visits are 11% up in the last three months (1.38 million) and 7% year to date (3.12 million), the best result since 2008.

Rest of World visits in the first nine months of 2015 were 3% higher than levels seen in the same period of 2014 at 4.39 million. The last three months have seen visits up by 5% to almost 2.1 million. Market data available for the first half of 2015 show a mixed picture, with visits from China up by 28% and India 15% but Japan down 12% and Australia 9%.

Explore the quarterly data or read more on the September 2015 results.