Visitor characteristics

  • There are more male than female visitors and 2-in-3 visitors were aged 25-54 years old in 2017
  • 33% of holiday visitors (excluding British expats) are making a repeat visit to Britain (within ten years)
  • Just over half of the visits from India to Britain were made by people who reside in the Maharashtra (including Mumbai) and in the Delhi states
  • 76% of departing Indian staying holiday visitors (excluding British expats) say they are ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday or short-break, which is slightly above the 71% across all markets

Popular activities

Dining in a restaurant

Visited Parks/ Gardens

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)18.4
Global rank for international tourism expenditure17
Number of outbound visits (m)18.0
Most visited destinationUnited Arab Emirates
Most visited destination in Western EuropeFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)1,356.0
GDP per capita PPP (US$)6,718
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)7.1
Annual average GDP growth over the past year (%)6.1

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 Indians think about Britain

  • Those in India have a generally positive view of Britain. According to the 2018 Anholt Nation Brands Index, powered by IPSOS, they ranked Britain in their top 5 for its nation brand among 49 nations overall, and for visiting if money were no object, its vibrant cities, its contemporary culture, and historic buildings
  • For Indian respondents the cultural product or services they most expect to be produced in Britain are ‘museums’, 'films' and 'sports'
  • Those in India are much more likely than average to believe that a holiday in Britain would be ‘romantic’, ‘relaxing’ and 'exciting'
  • Top holiday desires include ‘enjoying the beauty of the landscape’, ‘feeling connected to nature’ and ‘good value for money’. Although Britain rates above average for all those holiday attribues, Australia is the destination most often considered as the ‘best place’ to get the former two while USA is perceived as the ‘best place’ for the latter holiday desire 
  • Britain seems to be the best destination for ‘visiting a place with lots of history/ historic sites’ and ‘revisiting places of nostalgic importance’ for Indian respondents

Caring for visitors

  • Family plays an extremely important role in Indian life. Visitors will often ask for family or interconnecting rooms
  • The use of the 'Namaste', the greeting with folded hands, is usually appreciated among Indian guests, while it is best to wait for your guest to extend their first to shake it
  • Many Indians are vegetarian and teetotallers, and it is vital that a good variety of vegetarian options are made available on menus
  • Leisure visitors from India are less likely than those from the average market to use a credit card while in Britain
  • Whilst many speak good English, some may have issues understanding slang or accent

The leisure & travel trade

  • The travel trade in India changes slowly. The trade still plays a pivotal role in booking outbound travel while online booking is mainly popular for domestic travel, and digital sources are used mostly for travel inspiration and destination information
  • Brochures are planned and produced in December or January discussions are best started a year in advance, but can still occur in October-November as last-minute changes in the itinerary happen frequently
  • Telephone contact and face-to-face interaction is appreciated, as well as the provision of brochures

Access to Britain from India

Weekly aircraft departures117
Weekly seat capacity31,411
Airports with direct routes in India7
Airports with direct routes in Britain3
  • The majority of airline seats are destined for London Heathrow and mostly originate from either Mumbai or Delhi*
  • Those flying home to India from Britain pay £78 in Air Passenger Duty if travelling in economy class
  • Visitors from India need a visa to visit Britain and should apply for a six-month standard visitor visa currently costing £93


*2018 data (direct, non-stopping routes, excluding charter flights operated by TUI Airways and Thomsa Cook Airlines from Goa and Cochin)