Luxury Travel

In 2018 there are 18 million High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) worldwide* and they are of growing interest to international tourism destinations as their appetite for luxury travel translates into increased visitor spend and, thereby, economic growth. (*Source: Capgemini 2019 World Wealth report)

High spending visitors in the UK

The vast majority of the 40.9 million visits by overseas residents that the UK welcomed during 2019 will have been by non-HWI travellers, but it is interesting to examine which source markets generate the highest spend per visit and the highest spend per night.

It makes sense to look at both these metrics as some markets may display a high spend per visit but this is thanks to an above average length of stay or an atypical journey purpose distribution.

Table 1 below covers the top ten markets in terms of average spend per visit during 2017-2019 while Table 2 deals with spend per night high-fliers. Both tables feature several Gulf countries, with Saudi Arabia holding first spot in both the country spending the most on average per visit (£3,532) and also per night (£212). This is well above the average for 2017-2019 of £682 per visit and £93 per night. Qatar holds the second spot for spend per visit (£2,800) and also features in the top 10 list for spend per night (£175).

Kuwait ranks 3rd in both top 10 lists, due to their high standard of living, especially amongst international travellers. Oman and China both have high average spend per visit, but do not feature on the list for highest spend per night and this is due to a high average nights per visit in both cases, driven in part by non-holiday visitors. For Oman the average number of nights per visit is 18, whilst China has an average of 17. This is well above the average of 7, which inflates the overall spend per visit. Iceland features on the average spend per night (£186) but only stay on average 4 nights per visit so average spend per visit (£672) is lower than the markets in Table 1.

Market Spend per visit (2017-2019)
Table 1: 2017-2019 average spend per visit
Saudi Arabia £3,532
Qatar £2,800
Kuwait £2,697
Bahrain £2,465
China £1,933
United Arab Emirates £1,730
Oman £1,697
Nigeria £1,561
Egypt £1,502
Thailand £1,483


Market Spend per night (2017-2019)
Table 2: 2017-2019 average spend per night
Saudi Arabia £212
Bahrain £201
Kuwait £193
Iceland £186
United Arab Emirates £177
Qatar £175
Egypt £161
Singapore £157
Indonesia £141
Japan £138