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.

There is currently no non-stop travel between Russia and the UK due to the war in Ukraine. As a result, most of the metrics on this page will not be updated at present.

Visitor characteristics

  • Business visitors are more than three times as likely to be male than female
  • 72% of holiday visitors are making a repeat visit to Britain (excluding British nationals)
  • Nearly all visits from Russia to Britain are made by Russian nationals
  • 98% of departing Russians say they 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)36.2
Global rank for international tourism expenditure6
Number of outbound visits (m)31.1
Most visited destinationTurkey
Most visited destination in Western EuropeSpain

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)144.9
GDP per capita PPP (US$)31,763
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)0.6
Annual GDP growth (%)-3.3

Inbound visits to Britain from Russia

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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 Russians think about Britain

  • Russians have positive perception of the UK's contemporary culture, culture generally, historic buildings, and vibrant cities
  • Perceptions of ‘welcome’ and ‘scenic natural beauty’ are less favourable
  • 50% associate the UK with museums, 42% with music in 2022
  • 38% think that a trip to Britain would be ‘educational’
  • France and Italy are the destinations that Russians most often deem to be the best place for delivering on the things that are most wanted for ensuring an enjoyable holiday experience
  • Activities that appeal to potential Russian visitors include 'taking a canal boat tour through the waterways of England', 'staying the night in a fairy-tale castle', 'enjoying a traditional afternoon tea', 'visiting Madame Tussauds', and 'shopping for quirky gifts in a seaside town'

Caring for visitors

  • The majority of travellers to Britain speak English and do not expect to be spoken to in Russian - however they prefer to have materials and information in Russian and Russian speaking guides for sightseeing tours and detailed itineraries and guides in Russian are highly appreciated
  • Russians book very last-minute, 66% of Russian visitors booked within two months of their arrival in Britain
  • The majority of Russian tourists (middle and lower middle class in particular) prefer to travel in groups
  • By contrast more wealthy Russians prefer individual travel
  • Russian tourists are adventurous – they are active, sociable, and seeking new experiences
  • British pubs are generally loved and pub food usually goes down well
  • They like the reassurance of branded hotels and all-inclusive trips


The leisure & travel trade

  • Friends, family and colleagues are the most influential information source for Russian visitors, closely followed by information from search engines.
  • Working through tour operators, travel agents make up of more than 50% of all holiday bookings (travel and accommodation combined) in Russia
  • Large tour operators research their programmes in February and March and August and September

Access to Britain from Russia

Weekly aircraft departures70
Weekly seat capacity12,238
Airports with direct routes in Russia5
Airports with direct routes in Britain4
  • Visitors from Russia require a standard visitor visa to visit Britain – with a multi-entry six-month visa currently costing £100
  • In 2019, there were 70 weekly departures with an average of 12,238 seat capacity
  • The Moscow to London corridor is the most travelled
  • As a result of the war in Ukraine there are currently no non-stop flights between Russia and the UK
  • Passengers destined for Moscow pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty if travelling economy class