Polish flag for market profile

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

  • Almost all business visitors are male but Britain attracts more female than male leisure visitors
  • 40% of Polish visitor spend comes courtesy of visits to friends and/or relatives, 33% from business visits
  • Almost half of holiday visitors are making a repeat visit to Britain (excluding British nationals)
  • 97% of visitors from Poland are either 'likely' or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday or short-break

Popular activities

Dining in a restaurant

Sightseeing of Famous Buildings/ Monuments

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn) (2019)9.3
Global rank for international tourism expenditure36
Number of outbound visits (m)13.8
Most visited destinationUnited Kingdom

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)37.9
GDP per capita PPP (US$)42,873
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)3.6
Annual GDP growth (%)5.4

Inbound visits to Britain from Poland

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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 the Polish think about Britain

  • Poles have a positive view of the UK ranking it overall third out of sixty nations in 2022.
  • Their most positive perceptions are in relation to culture in general, contemporary culturesportsvibrant city life, cultural heritage, and historic buildings, but areas of comparative weakness include perceptions of welcome and of the UK's scenic natural beauty 
  • The UK is strongly associated with films, museums, music, and sports
  • Although many Poles see Britain as having a strong culture and heritage offering, this is equally true of their view of France and Italy
  • Activities that appeal to potential Polish visitors include 'riding the scenic 'Hogwarts Express' (Harry Potter train) through the Scottish Highlands', 'enjoying a traditional afternoon tea', 'driving through the countryside of England', 'visiting Madame Tussauds', and 'going hiking on the South West coast'

Caring for visitors


  • Visitors appreciate information being available in their own language
  • British food is not a major draw for Poles, but British pubs are popular
  • Ownership of credit cards is relatively low compared with Western Europe and many Poles prefer to pay with cash
  • Around 65% of individual Polish travellers book 3-star hotels, B&Bs or hostels, although they usually book 4-5 star accommodation when on package tours


The leisure & travel trade

  • The Polish tourism market is dominated by many small businesses
  • The large tour operators research their main programmes between February and April
  • If you commit to the Polish market, you will need to visit your contacts at least once or twice a year

Access to Britain from Poland

Weekly aircraft departures438
Weekly seat capacity85,844
Airports with direct routes in Poland13
Airports with direct routes in Britain16
  • Almost two thirds of visits from Poland to the UK are made via plane
  • 13 airports in Poland serve 16 airports in Britain in 2023
  • Following the Covid-19 pandemic, scheduled seat capacity on non-stop flights from Poland to the UK has recovered to 97% of 2019 levels in 2023
  • The current rate of Air Passenger Duty for visitors departing Britain for Poland is £13