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

  • Canadian visitors tend to be older than the average visitor to the UK: 33% of Canadian visitors were aged 55+ in 2022, compared to the all market average of 22%
  • 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)24.4
Global rank for international tourism expenditure8
Number of outbound visits (m)24.2
Most visited destinationUSA
Most visited destination in Western EuropeFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)39
GDP per capita PPP (US$)60,734
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)1.6
Annual GDP growth (%)0.6

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 6th overall among 60 nations

  • Canadians rate Britain highly for historic buildings, contemporary culture, sport and visiting if money was no object but less so for natural beauty

  • Museums, films and music 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 departures123
Weekly seat capacity35,535
Airports with direct routes in Canada6
Airports with direct routes in Britain5
  • Most Canadian visitors travel to the UK by air (92%), another 6% arrive through the Channel Tunnel (2022)
  • Airline seat capacity to the UK is highly seasonal with almost twice as many seats in the height of summer as in mid-winter
  • London Heathrow and London Gatwick see 91% of the market share in terms of seat capacity from Canada to the UK, in 2023
  • 6 airports in Canada are connected to 5 airports in the UK, via direct flights, in 2023
  • The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic led to a 69% reduction in seat capacity from Canada to the UK in 2020. 2021 was 76% behind pre-COVID levels, and 2022 was 23% behind pre-pandemic levels. 
  • In 2023, capacity has shown signs of a quick recovery, now at 90% of pre-pandemic levels