Germany

Germany

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 Q1 to Q3 but modelled for Q4. 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 modelled for the first half of the year and the latest data can be found on the monthly and quarterly pages. 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.

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

Visitor characteristics

  • Business visitors are more than three times as likely to be male than female
  • More than three-in-five of holiday visitors are making a repeat visit to Britain (excluding British expats, within ten years)
  • Virtually all holiday and business visitors are German nationals but 21% of visiting friends and relations (VFR) visitors are British nationals
  • 96% of departing Germans are either ‘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

Measure2019
International tourism expenditure (US$bn)93.2
Global rank for international tourism expenditure3
Number of outbound overnight visits (m)116.0
Most visited destinationAustria

Key demographic and economic data

Measure2022
Population (m)83.5
GDP per capita PPP (US$)63,038
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)1.1
Annual GDP growth (%)1.4

Inbound visits to Britain from Germany

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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 Germans think about Britain

  • Germans rate the UK highly for contemporary culture, sports, culture in general, vibrant cities and historic buildings, but less so for scenic natural beauty and welcome, rated 36th and 25th out of sixty nations respectively on these two attributes in 2022
  • Music, museums and films are the cultural products or services most strongly associated with the UK among Germans
  • A trip to the UK would be expected to be ‘exciting’, ‘educational’, and 'fascinating'
  • 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 'driving through the countryside in England', 'visiting Madame Tussauds', 'spotting wildlife in the Scottish Highlands', 'sharing stories over a pint with locals in a cosy rural pub' and 'going hiking on the South West coast'

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 

 

Access to Britain from Germany

Measure2022
Weekly aircraft departures689
Weekly seat capacity108,621
Airports with direct routes in Germany19
Airports with direct routes in Britain18
  • Most Germans travel to Britain by plane. The destination can also be accessed by direct coach services, by car through the Channel Tunnel, by ferry or by a simple change of train in Brussels or Paris 
  • In 2022, there were 689 weekly departures with an average seat capacity of 108,621
  • 19 German airports have access to 18 British airports
  • Following the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, scheduled flight seat capacity in 2022 from Germany to the UK recovered to 61% of 2019 levels
  • German visitors flying home from Britain pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty