For the full 2020 data please visit our 2020 inbound data page here. For Q1 (January -March 2020) data please visit our UK and regional quarterly data pages.

Visitor characteristics

  • 37% of Italian visits are made by visitors aged under 35
  • Nearly three-in-five of holiday visitors are making a repeat trip to Britain (excluding British nationals, within ten years)
  • Most visitors to Britain live in or around Milan or Rome
  • 97% of departing visitors (excluding British nationals) 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

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)30.3
Global rank for international tourism expenditure10
Number of outbound visits (m)35.8
Most visited destinationFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)59.3
GDP per capita PPP (US$)38,156
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)-0.3
Annual GDP growth (%)6.2

Inbound visits to Britain from Italy

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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 Italians think about Britain

  • Italians have an upbeat opinion of the UK ranking it overall fourth out of fifty nations in 2020. 
  • Their most positive perceptions are in relation to ‘culture' in general, 'contemporary culture', and ‘vibrant city life’, but areas of comparative weakness include perceptions of ‘welcome’ and of the UK’s ‘scenic natural beauty’
  • 33% reckon that a trip to the UK would be ‘fascinating’ but only 9% believe it would be ‘romantic’
  • Australia and the USA are destinations that are considered to be the ‘best place’ for a number of the attributes Italians ‘most want’ from a holiday destination
  • Britain competes with France to be the destination Italians are most likely to say is the ‘best place’ for ‘historic sites’ and ‘world famous places’
  • Activities that appeal to potential Italian visitors include 'enjoying a traditional afternoon tea', 'taking a canal boat tour thorugh the waterways of England', 'staying the night in a fairy-tale castle', 'visiting Windsor Castle' and 'going hiking on the South West coast  

Caring for visitors

  • It is fundamental to provide any brochures and materials in Italian
  • Value for money is fundamental in choosing a destination and accommodation
  • Independent travellers tend to choose major and well-known chains, although bed & breakfasts are also popular
  • Italians prefer good-sized hotel rooms and cleanliness is paramount
  • Conservative eaters, when travelling abroad, Italians choose to eat simple British fare or Italian food - vegetarian dishes recommended

The leisure & travel trade

  • 28% of Italian visitors have booked a holiday (travel and accommodation combined) in a travel agency
  • Tour operators are developing new products and new ways of selling these products
  • Relationships in Italy are extremely important. Try to visit your contacts at least twice a year and keep in regular contact with them even when you are back in Britain

Access to Britain from Italy

Weekly aircraft departures1,061
Weekly seat capacity178,138
Airports with direct routes in Italy28
Airports with direct routes in Britain22
  • Airlines seat capacity from Italy to Britain has grown in recent years. It is highly seasonal, reflecting demand for outbound travel from Britain to Italy
  • In 2019, there were 1,061 weekly departures with an average seat capacity of 178,138
  • 28 airports in Italy served 22 airports in Britain
  • The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic led to a 66% reduction in seat capacity from Italy to the UK in 2020
  • Visitors from Italy departing Britain by air pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty