Visitor characteristics

  • Business visitors are four times as likely to be male than female
  • More than half of holiday visitors are making a repeat visit to Britain
  • Virtually all holiday and business visitors are German but 25% of visiting friends and relations (VFR) visitors are British nationals
  • Business visitors tend to have a higher household income than leisure visitors
  • 85% of departing Germans are either ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ likely to recommend Britain for a holiday or short-break

Popular activities

Sightseeing of Famous Buildings/ Monuments

Visited Parks/ Gardens

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)77.5
Global rank for international tourism expenditure3
Number of outbound visits (m)97.5
Most visited destinationFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)81.7
GDP per capita (US$)41,035
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)1.4
Annual average GDP growth in the past year (%)1.5

Inbound visits to Britain

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Seasonality (Share of visits)

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Regional spread (Share of visits)

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Access to Britain from Germany

Weekly aircraft departures1,263
Weekly seat capacity180,014
Airports with direct routes in Germany22
Airports with direct routes in Britain23
  • It is possible to reach many destinations in Britain by air from Germany, while there are also direct coach services and a simple change of train in Brussels enables visitors to reach Britain by rail
  • Monthly airline seat capacity from Germany to Britain increased to more than 780,000 in 2016
  • Many airlines operate flights from Germany to Britain with Lufthansa and British Airways being the largest carriers
  • German visitors flying home from Britain pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty


What Germans think about Britain

  • Germans rate Britain highly for built heritage and contemporary culture, but less so for scenic natural beauty and welcome, rated 18th and 16th out of fifty nations respectively on these two attributes in 2015.
  • Music is the cultural product or service most strongly associated with Britain among Germans
  • A trip to Britain would be expected to be ‘educational’ but Germans are more likely than others to think it would be ‘relaxing’
  • Australia and to a lesser extent the USA are the destinations that Germans consider the ‘best place’ for delivering the things they most want from a holiday destination
  • Areas of strength for Britain include being somewhere to see ‘famous sites’ and for ‘lots of history’, while very few consider Britain is the ‘best place' for ‘food and drink’
  • Activities that appeal to potential visitors from Germany include a visit to Buckingham Palace and spotting wildlife in the Scottish Highlands

Caring for visitors

  • Very few German visitors expect their British hosts to speak German, with the majority of younger Germans speaking English
  • German visitors are likely to have planned their itinerary in some detail, but younger visitors may be more spontaneous, but all will welcome local recommendations for things to do and see
  • Germans often try to find accommodation that has ‘character’
  • German vegetarians are often impressed by the range of choices on offer in Britain

The leisure & travel trade

  • The German travel market is very mature, there are a few big players dominating the market but also a fair number of small specialist operators with comprehensive Britain programmes
  • Although in Germany retail agencies are still more important than in other European countries they are now also increasingly facing competition from internet travel portals
  • Large tour operators research their main season programmes between April and June, with off-season/city break operators doing their research in March and April 



Germany market profile

Read about the preferences of Europeans towards tourismPublished March 2015

Find out which perceptions of Britain act as a barrier to exploring beyond LondonPublished July 2013

Read our report on German perceptions of the expense and value for money when taking a holiday in Britain. Published 2012

Find out where visitors from Germany reside in their own countryPublished 2010

Exchange rate

1 GBP = 1.1348 EUR

As of 22 June 2017

Retrieved from the Bank of England