The International Passenger Survey (IPS) was suspended on 16 March 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic until the start of 2021. The ONS have made every effort to produce high-quality estimates for the periods when IPS data is not being collected but have not been able to produce a full set of results. See the 2020 inbound page for more information. Data for 2021 and 2022 was also impacted by COVID-19, more information can be found on the About IPS page.

Due to the above, the latest full year IPS data below is from 2019. You can access data detailed data from 2020 onwards on the latest annual page.

Visitor characteristics

  • 62% of holiday visitors (excluding British expats) are making a repeat trip to Britain (within ten years)
  • 17% of visits from Australia were made by British nationals in 2019
  • 85% of departing Australians (excluding British expats) are ‘extremely’ likely to recommend Britain for a visit
  • Just under a third of the visits from all Australian states to Britain are made by visitors that reside in New South Wales

Popular activities

Dining in a restaurant

Visited a Pub

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)36.0
Global rank for international tourism expenditure7
Number of outbound visits (m)17.9
Most visited destinationNew Zealand
Most visited destination in Western EuropeUK

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)25.8
GDP per capita PPP (US$)48,728
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)2.3
Annual GDP growth (%)4.7

Inbound visits to Britain from Australia

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Number of visits

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Total expenditure (GBP)

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Total nights spent

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Average length of stay (Nights)


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Average spend per visit (GBP)

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What Australians think about Britain

  • Australians still hold an upbeat opinion of Britain. For instance, they ranked Britain third overall compared to 60 other nations in the 2021 Anholt Nation Brands Index, gaining one place compared to 2020
  • Museums, films, and music are the cultural products or services that Australians most keenly associate with Britain
  • Australians expect that a trip to Britain would be 'educational', 'fascinating' and 'exciting'
  • Top holiday 'wants' include 'good value for money' and 'having fun and laughter' - the US is the destination seen as best place to deliver on both these needs
  • Britain is seen as the 'best place' for factors such as 'exploring the place' (third top holiday 'wants' for the Australians) and 'visiting a place with lots of history' but scores poorly in relation to 'food and drink' and 'experiencing things that are new to me'

Caring for visitors

  • Meeting the locals is a key part of an Australian’s holiday: Australians love to chat with the locals and find out about the history of the area, recommended pubs and markets and find out about local stories
  • All types of accommodation appeal to the Australian market
  • British pubs provide a unique experience, not really found in Australia
  • Most Australian visitors arrive by plane very early in the morning, and appreciate early check-in to their room, or at least the opportunity to shower

The leisure & travel trade

  • The Australian travel market is dominated by only a couple of vertically integrated companies, but consortia of independent travel agencies have gained in importance in the last few years
  • Australian consumers continue to display a high usage of bricks and mortar retail agencies for purchasing long-haul travel
  • Australians tend to book a long time in advance, mostly flexible packages, or semi-packaged holidays
  • Travel agents have opportunities to sell them additional products during the period leading up to their trip

Access to Britain from Australia

Weekly departing seats on Perth to London Heathrow flight1,657
Weekly departing seats to gateway cities which have routes to the UK348,866
Main gateway hubs en-route from Australia to the UK Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, Middle East, Africa, Americas
Countries with connecting flights to the UK from Australia 21
  • Australia has a highly complex aviation market. With extensive outbound seat capacity, Australian travellers have a diverse range of affordable options for travelling to the UK, with connecting flights via aviation hubs in Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas to cities across the UK, including three London airports, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Cardiff. 
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a 74% reduction in direct seat capacity from Australia to the UK in 2020, and similarly, 2021 was 75% behind.  
  • Departing visitors from Australia travelling home by air are charged £84 in Air Passenger Duty if travelling in economy class