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.

The 2021 data is ‘incomplete’ as Eurotunnel data was unavailable for the entire year. In addition, interviewing at Dover restarted from Q3 2021 and pseudo records for the Irish land border were also removed in 2021. More info can be found on the 2021 inbound page.

For 2022, Eurotunnel data was also unavailable for the first half of the year. Interviewing at Eurostar was not affected by Covid-19 restrictions in 2021 or the first half of 2022. The ONS restarted IPS interviews at all ports from July 2022. The latest data can be found on the monthly and quarterly pages.

Due to the above, the latest full year IPS data below is from 2019.

Visitor characteristics

  • Almost two-in-five of Swedish visitors are under 35 years of age
  • Nearly four-in-five holiday visitors are making a repeat trip to Britain (excluding British nationals)
  • A significant proportion of visitors live in or around Stockholm
  • 97% of departing visitors say they are ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday

Popular activities

Dining in a restaurant

Visited a Pub

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)14.4
Global rank for international tourism expenditure25
Number of outbound visits (m)14.4
Most visited destinationSpain

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)10.5
GDP per capita PPP (US$)63,531
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)2.2
Annual GDP growth (%)2.9

Inbound visits to Britain from Sweden

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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 Swedes think about Britain

  • Swedes are more upbeat than average in their opinion of how welcoming the UK is and rank the UK third out of sixty nations overall, as well as first for 'vibrant city life', 'contemporary culture' and 'culture in general'
  • The cultural product Swedes most strongly associate with the UK is music, followed by filmssports, museums, and pop videos in 2022
  • When thinking about holiday destinations Swedes see a chance to have ‘fun and laughter’ and ‘enjoy the beauty of the landscape’ as important. They perceive the US, Australia and Italy as the ‘best places’ for it. 
  • Swedes are more likely to nominate Britain as the best place to ‘meet the locals’ then they are other leading destinations
  • Activities that appeal to potential Swedish visitors include 'visiting Madame Tussauds', 'enjoying a traditional afternoon tea', 'driving through the countryside in England', 'taking a canal boat tour through the waterways of England', and 'going on a food tour of one of London's best foodie markets'

Caring for visitors

  • Swedes expect good-value accommodation and will use budget acommodation - they will expect en-suite facilities and wooden/tiled floors
  • Swedes will take more notice of environmental credentials than visitors from many other markets
  • Visitors from Sweden are more likely than the average visitor to use a credit card to pay for goods and services in Britain

The leisure & travel trade

  • The Swedish trade can be roughly split into four categories of charter operators, business travel/MICE, online operators and retail travel agents with many companies offering a mix of the four services
  • The key centres for travel trade are Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo
  • There is no distinct planning cycle so it is possible to do business in Sweden throughout the year

Access to Britain from Sweden

Weekly aircraft departures126
Weekly seat capacity21,722
Airports with direct routes in Sweden6
Airports with direct routes in Britain8
  • The majority of visits to Britain from Sweden are made by air
  • The bulk of seat capacity serves the Stockholm to London corridor
  • Four airlines operate virtually all capacity between Sweden and Britain
  • Copenhagen in Denmark is also a popular gateway to the UK from the South of Sweden
  • Following the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, scheduled seat capacity in 2022 from Sweden to the UK recovered to 67% of 2019 levels
  • Visitors departing Britain to travel home to Sweden by air are charged £13 in Air Passenger Duty if travelling in economy class
    (2022 data, excludes flights from Salen)