Visitor characteristics

  • There are more male than female visitors and there is a strong chance visitors will be aged 25-54
  • 33% of holiday visitors (excluding British expats) are making a repeat visit to Britain (within ten years)
  • Most visits to Britain were made by people who reside in the province around Mumbai (Maharashtra) and in Delhi
  • 73% of departing visitors say they are ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday or short-break, which is slightly above the 69% across all markets

Popular activities

Visited a Castle

Visited Parks/ Gardens

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)16.4
Global rank for international tourism expenditure20
Number of outbound visits (m)16.4
Most visited destinationUnited Arab Emirates
Most visited destination in Western EuropeFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)1,326.1
GDP per capita PPP (US$)5,962
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)7.3
Annual average GDP growth over the past year (%)7.9

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 Indians think about Britain

  • Those in India have a generally positive view of Britain
  • Indians also rate Britain more highly than is often the case for ‘natural beauty’ according to the 2016 Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index; their perceptions of the British people overall has also improved by two places since 2015,  now ranking Britain fourth in the 'people' category against 49 other nations
  • For Indian respondents the cultural product or service they most expect to be produced in Britain is ‘museums
  • Those in India are much more likely than average to believe that a holiday in Britain would be ‘romantic’ and ‘relaxing
  • 29% say a visit to Buckingham Palace would be among the activities that they would find most appealing were they to visit Britain 
  • Top holiday desires include ‘enjoy the beauty of the landscape’, ‘feel 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
  • It is not usual for men to shake hands with women
  • 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, there are unique uses of phrases
  • Telephone contact and face-to-face interaction is appreciated, as well as the provision of brochures

The leisure & travel trade

  • The travel trade in India remains reactive and last-minute
  • Online booking is becoming increasingly popular for domestic travel, but at present the trade still plays a pivotal role in booking outbound travel
  • Brochures are planned and produced in December or January discussions are best started up to a year in advance

Access to Britain from India

Weekly aircraft departures111
Weekly seat capacity30,193
Airports with direct routes in India6
Airports with direct routes in Britain2
  • 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 £75 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 £89


*2016 data (direct, non-stopping routes, excluding flights from Goa)