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 therefore no data from 2020 is available on the interactive chart below. Interviewing initially began at UK airports at the start of 2021, though the IPS remained suspended at some sea ports and train stations during the year. Data for 2021 and 2022 is also excluded below as there were no interviews at Eurotunnel until July 2022 and data from Dover was only collected from Q3 2021.

Read more about 2020 inbound data2021 inbound data, 2022 quarterly data as well as the latest monthly data for 2022.

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