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.

The 2021 data is ‘incomplete’ as Eurotunnel data was unavailable for the entire year. In addition, interviewing at Dover restarted from Q3 2021 and pseudo records for the Irish land border were also removed in 2021. More info can be found on the 2021 inbound page.

For 2022, Eurotunnel data was also unavailable for the first half of the year. Interviewing at Eurostar was not affected by Covid-19 restrictions in 2021 or the first half of 2022. The ONS restarted IPS interviews at all ports from July 2022. The latest data can be found on the monthly and quarterly pages.

Due to the above, the latest full year IPS data below is from 2019.

Visitor characteristics

  • Canadian visitors tend to be older than the average visitor to the UK: 31% of Canadian visitors were aged 55+ in 2018, compared to the all market average of 20%
  • Almost half of the Canadian visitors come from Ontario
  • 6 out of 10 Canadian holiday visitors are making a repeat visit
  • The Canada visitor market compromises of 42% holiday visits and 40% visits to friends and/or relatives

Popular activities

Dining in a restaurant

Sightseeing of Famous Buildings/ Monuments

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)35.8
Global rank for international tourism expenditure8
Number of outbound visits (m)38.8
Most visited destinationUSA
Most visited destination in Western EuropeFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)38.2
GDP per capita PPP (US$)45,061
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)1.6
Annual GDP growth (%)5.0

Inbound visits to Britain from Canada

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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 Canadians think about Britain

  • Canadians ranked Britain 8th overall among 60 nations

  • Canadians rate Britain highly for contemporary culture and historic buildings but less so for natural beauty

  • Museums, music and films are the main cultural products most associated with Britain by Canadians

  • A trip to Britain would be expected to be ‘educational’, ‘fascinating’ and ‘exciting’ by many Canadians

Caring for visitors

  • Britain is a home away from home for many Canadian visitors, sharing a common language, culture, tradition and heritage
  • Canada is a culturally diverse country, over 20% of the total Canadian population is foreign-born
  • Canadians do not like to be referred to as American or even North American
  • As many Canadians arrive in Britain on overnight flights, the possibility of early check-in at their accommodation is appreciated

The leisure & travel trade

  • Toronto is a key location for doing business with the travel trade
  • Brochure production time is mainly September/October
  • Independent, customisable packages were cited as the highest growth area among tour operators
  • The market is experiencing growth in the Home Based Travel advisor community; often affiliated to a travel agent consortia

Access to Britain from Canada

Weekly aircraft departures136
Weekly seat capacity39,661
Airports with direct routes in Canada9
Airports with direct routes in Britain5
  • Most Canadian visitors travel to the UK by air (91%), another 6% arrive through the Channel Tunnel
  • Airline seat capacity to the UK is highly seasonal with roughly twice as many seats in the height of summer as in mid-winter
  • London Heathrow and London Gatwick had 90% of market share in terms of seat capacity from Canada to the UK, in 2019
  • 9 airports in Canada were connected to 5 airports in the UK, via direct flights, in 2019
  • The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic led to a 69% reduction in seat capacity from Canada to the UK in 2020