From 22 May we will be working to update all of the data and documents on this page following the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revision of the International Passenger Survey (IPS) data for 2009-2018 and the released detailed 2019 data. UK data will be updated first and followed by the regional data from 27 May. Please be patient as we update these pages or contact the VisitBritain research team if you have any questions- VB/ Thank you.

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 but 17% 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

Sightseeing of Famous Buildings/ Monuments

Visited a Pub

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)95.6
Global rank for international tourism expenditure3
Number of outbound overnight visits (m)114.3
Most visited destinationAustria

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)83.1
GDP per capita PPP (US$)49,975
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)2.0
Annual average GDP growth in the past year (%)0.6

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 culture in general, contemporary culture, sports, cultural and built heritage, and vibrant cities, but less so for scenic natural beauty and welcome, rated 31st and 21st out of fifty nations respectively on these two attributes in 2019
  • Music and museums are the cultural products or services most strongly associated with the UK among Germans
  • A trip to the UK would be expected to be ‘educational’ and to equal measure  ‘exciting’ 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

Weekly aircraft departures1,174
Weekly seat capacity178,050
Airports with direct routes in Germany20
Airports with direct routes in Britain21
  • 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 2019, there were 1,174 weekly departures with an average seat capacity of 178,050
  • 20 German airports have access to 21 British airports
  • German visitors flying home from Britain pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty