Visitor characteristics

  • Business visitors are more than three 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 19% of visiting friends and relations (VFR) visitors are British nationals
  • 92% 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 a Pub

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)83.7
Global rank for international tourism expenditure3
Number of outbound overnight visits (m)106.7
Most visited destinationAustria

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)83.0
GDP per capita PPP (US$)45,684
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)1.3
Annual average GDP growth in the past year (%)1.9

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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What Germans think about Britain

  • Germans rate Britain highly for contemporary culture, vibrant cities, built and cultural heritage and sports, but less so for scenic natural beauty and welcome, rated 26th and 22nd out of fifty nations respectively on these two attributes in 2017
  • Museums and music are the cultural products or services most strongly associated with Britain among Germans
  • A trip to Britain would be expected to be ‘educational’ and ‘fascinating’ but Germans are more likely than many 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 


Access to Britain from Germany

Weekly aircraft departures1,294
Weekly seat capacity186,179
Airports with direct routes in Germany20
Airports with direct routes in Britain22
  • Most Germans travel to Britain by plane. The destination can also be accessed by direct coach services, by car through the Channel Tunnel, by ferrry or by a simple change of train in Brussels or Paris 
  • Monthly airline seat capacity from Germany to Britain increased to more than 800,000 in 2017
  • 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