The International Passenger Survey (IPS) was suspended on 16 March 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic until the start of 2021. The ONS have made every effort to produce high-quality estimates for the periods when IPS data is not being collected but have not been able to produce a full set of results. See the 2020 inbound page for more information. Data for 2021 and 2022 was also impacted by COVID-19, more information can be found on the About IPS page.

Due to the above, the latest full year IPS data below is from 2019. You can access data detailed data from 2020 onwards on the latest annual page.

Visitor characteristics

  • 43% 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)26.3
Global rank for international tourism expenditure6
Number of outbound visits (m)28.3
Most visited destinationFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)59.1
GDP per capita PPP (US$)51,858
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)0.4
Annual GDP growth (%)3.8

Inbound visits to Britain from Italy

Applied filters:

{{ item.title }}

Drag to change year on charts and tables.

Touch the data points to see the values.


Number of visits

{{totalVisits | fixUnits}}

{{ totalVisitsPerc == 'Infinity' ? '-' : totalVisitsPerc >= 0 ? '+' + totalVisitsPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' : totalVisitsPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' }}

{{}} {{ | fixUnits}}

Total expenditure (GBP)

{{totalSpend | spendUnits}}

{{ totalSpendPerc == 'Infinity' ? '-' : totalSpendPerc >= 0 ? '+' + totalSpendPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' : totalSpendPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' }}

{{}} {{ | spendUnits}}

Total nights spent

{{totalNights | fixUnits}}

{{ totalNightsPerc == 'Infinity' ? '-' : totalNightsPerc >= 0 ? '+' + totalNightsPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' : totalNightsPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' }}

{{}} {{ | fixUnits}}

Average length of stay (Nights)


{{ isNaN(avgStayPerc) ? '-' : avgStayPerc >= 0 ? '+' + avgStayPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' : avgStayPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' }}

{{}} {{}}

Average spend per visit (GBP)

{{avgSpend | spendUnits(0, 'hideUnit')}}

{{ isNaN(avgSpendPerc) ? '-' : avgSpendPerc >= 0 ? '+' + avgSpendPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' : avgSpendPerc.toFixed(2) + '%' }}

{{}} {{ | spendUnits(0, 'hideUnit')}}

* Change from {{Number( - 1}}




What Italians think about Britain

  • Italians have an upbeat opinion of the UK ranking it overall fourth out of sixty nations in 2022. 
  • Their most positive perceptions are in relation to contemporary cultureculture in general, sports, vibrant city life, and built and cultural heritage, but areas of comparative weakness include perceptions of ‘welcome’ and of the UK’s ‘scenic natural beauty’
  • 39% reckon that a trip to the UK would be 'fascinating', followed by about a third each who believe it would be 'exciting' and 'educational' 
  • 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 departures932
Weekly seat capacity165,642
Airports with direct routes in Italy28
Airports with direct routes in Britain18
  • Airlines seat capacity from Italy to Britain is highly seasonal, reflecting demand for outbound travel from Britain to Italy
  • In 2023, there are 932 weekly departures with an average seat capacity of 165,642
  • 28 airports in Italy serve 18 airports in Britain
  • Following the Covid-19 pandemic, scheduled seat capacity on non-stop flights from Italy to the UK has recovered to 93% of 2019 levels in 2023
  • Visitors from Italy departing Britain by air pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty