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

  • There are more than twice as many male than female business visitors
  • Almost four-in-five Belgian holiday visitors (excluding British expats) are making a repeat visit to Britain (within ten years)
  • Far more visitors come from Brussels than any other part of Belgium
  • 97% of departing visitors from Belgium (excluding British expats) are ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend a visit to Britain

Popular activities

Dining in a restaurant

Sightseeing of Famous Buildings/ Monuments

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)16.3
Global rank for international tourism expenditure16
Number of outbound visits (m)24.0
Most visited destinationFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)11.6
GDP per capita PPP (US$)62,888
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)1.5
Annual GDP growth (%)3.2

Inbound visits to Britain from Belgium

Applied filters:

{{ item.title }}

Drag to change year on charts and tables.

Touch the data points to see the values.


Number of visits

{{totalVisits | fixUnits}}

{{ totalVisitsPerc == 'Infinity' ? '-' : totalVisitsPerc >= 0 ? '+' + totalVisitsPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' : totalVisitsPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' }}

{{}} {{ | fixUnits}}

Total expenditure (GBP)

{{totalSpend | spendUnits}}

{{ totalSpendPerc == 'Infinity' ? '-' : totalSpendPerc >= 0 ? '+' + totalSpendPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' : totalSpendPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' }}

{{}} {{ | spendUnits}}

Total nights spent

{{totalNights | fixUnits}}

{{ totalNightsPerc == 'Infinity' ? '-' : totalNightsPerc >= 0 ? '+' + totalNightsPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' : totalNightsPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' }}

{{}} {{ | fixUnits}}

Average length of stay (Nights)


{{ isNaN(avgStayPerc) ? '-' : avgStayPerc >= 0 ? '+' + avgStayPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' : avgStayPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' }}

{{}} {{}}

Average spend per visit (GBP)

{{avgSpend | spendUnits(0, 'hideUnit')}}

{{ isNaN(avgSpendPerc) ? '-' : avgSpendPerc >= 0 ? '+' + avgSpendPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' : avgSpendPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' }}

{{}} {{ | spendUnits(0, 'hideUnit')}}

* Change from {{Number( - 1}}




What Belgians think about Britain

  • Museums and films are the cultural products that Belgians most closely associate with Britain
  • 44% say a potential trip to Britain would be 'exciting'
  • 46% associate the statement 'has a rich and interesting history' with Britain but a greater number associate it with both France and Italy
  • 42% reckon that Britain 'is good for high street shopping'
  • One-in-three associate Britain with the statement 'is rich in natural scenic beauty' but competitor destinations are much more strongly associated with the attribute

Caring for visitors

  • 3 or 4 star hotels tend to be the favoured form of holiday accommodation, with an eagerness for value for money and a warm personal welcome
  • Belgians like to take time over their meals and take pride in their cuisine
  • Belgians are comfortable paying for goods and services with a credit card when on holiday

The leisure & travel trade

  • Group operators, especially those providing school and youth travel, are an important sector of the travel trade selling Britain
  • Most Belgians book a holiday to Britain directly on the internet
  • It is wise to be on time for meetings

Access to Britain from Belgium

Weekly aircraft departures108
Weekly seat capacity17,043
Airports with direct routes in Belgium3
Airports with direct routes in Britain7
Eurostar trains per day from Brussels9
Weekly ferry crossings7
  • The majority of Belgians reach Britain by means of the Channel Tunnel
  • The bulk of plane seat capacity serves the Brussels to Heathrow corridor
  • There are 108 weekly departures with an average seating capacity of 17,043 scheduled in 2023
  • Following the Covid-19 pandemic, scheduled seat capacity on non-stop flights from Belgium to the UK has recovered to 79% of 2019 levels in 2023
  • Those who fly back to Belgium from Britain pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty if flying economy