Millions of Brits plan a trip in the UK during festive season bringing £2.6 billion boost to the economy

20 December 2018

VisitEngland’s Christmas Trip Tracker Survey released today shows that more than 13 million Brits (26%) are planning an overnight trip in the UK during the Christmas and New Year period, bringing an estimated £2.6 billion boost to the economy.

The figures show an increase on last year’s results when 10.3 million Brits (20%) planned to take an overnight trip in the UK during the festive season.

Tourism Minister Michael Ellis said:

“It is excellent news that communities and businesses across the UK will see a festive tourism boost this Christmas. The UK’s tourism offer is very strong with brilliant things to do and places to see, and I encourage everyone to go out and explore our beautiful country.”

VisitEngland Director Patricia Yates said:

“It is great that so many of us are planning to take a domestic trip during the festive period, boosting the UK economy through tourism. From seasonal experiences visiting Christmas markets to enjoying year-round attractions such as walks in the countryside and dining out in restaurants, destinations across the country are tempting Brits to explore beyond their doorstep.”

Popular seasonal activities Brits plan to do include going out for a meal (43%) shopping at post-Christmas sales (37%) and visiting a Christmas market (31%). More than one-in-five (23%) will participate in outdoor activities such as walking or cycling.

Of those surveyed, younger people are more likely to spend money at seasonal shopping events, with 45% of

16-to-24 year olds planning to shop at post-Christmas sales and 49% planning to visit a Christmas market.

Among those definitely planning an overnight trip in England, 40% are planning on taking two or more trips during the festive period. The survey also shows that 11% of Brits have yet to decide if they will take an overnight trip in England during the festive season.

Tourism is worth £127 billion annually to the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and region.

Notes to Editors:

Read the latest inbound tourism festive press release.

About VisitEngland’s Christmas and New Year Trip Tracker Survey

  • VisitEngland commissions online omnibus surveys periodically in order to collect data on the number of GB consumers who plan to take an overnight trip at key times throughout the year. 
  • In this December edition, the survey was carried out on an online omnibus by TNS, with a representative sample of 1,252 adults aged 16 and over in Great Britain. 
  • The fieldwork for the survey took place between the 13th and 17th December
  • Trip volumes are based on an adult (16+) population of 50.9m in GB (Office for National Statistics). 
  • For the full report, visit: (not live until 20 Dec)

What’s on during Christmas and New Year:

Christmas Season at the Black Country Museum, Dudley, West Midlands
Until the 24 December

At the Black Country Museum visitors can experience Christmas as it would have been celebrated in years gone by. Set in a landscape of 26 acres, over fifty authentic shops, houses and workshops offer a glimpse into 200 years of history. Enter a festively decorated Victorian house and see plum-puddings being made the traditional way or head to the 1940s and see how Christmas dinner was made on rations. Visitors can experience a traditional Christmas evening complete with brass bands and carol singers, go on a hunt for Santa, or have a mulled wine in a Victorian pub.

Ice Village Manchester
Until 5 January

Britain’s first dedicated ice attraction will transform Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens into Ice Village Manchester, a frozen world complete with an ice bar, ice rink, Santa’s Grotto, Woodland Market and salutes to Manchester’s heritage. The centrepiece will be the Ice Cavern, filled with more than 100 ice sculptures hand-carved by the world’s best ice artists. The theme is ‘Journey to Santa’s Toy Factory’ and visitors can expect to see a frozen steam train, elves, toys and arctic animals sculpted from huge blocks of ice.

Christmas display at Windsor Castle, Windsor
Until 6 January

Visitors to Windsor Castle can enjoy a festive display in the castle grounds this winter, including a spectacular view of a Nordmann fir tree covered in lights, tinsel and golden decorations, which is the highlight of the Christmas decorations on show.

New Christmas Market in the Great Court, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Until 6 January

Escape the bustle of the high street and soak up the festive atmosphere of Blenheim Palace this festive season. Its Great Court will be hosting a new Christmas Market, filled with a variety of hand-picked gifts, unique works by a range of designers and tempting treats for foodies. During the daytime, a new indoor Cinderella Fairy Tale Experience will be taking over the Palace State Rooms and an ever larger Christmas Light Trail will illuminate the ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland in the evening.

Skylight London
Until the 27 January

Skylight London hosts Europe's only rooftop ice rink and alongside a host of festive food, drink and activities, this year it will introduce cosy igloos and huts, transporting guests to a wintry wonderland perched above the city. Heated après skate bars, draped in glimmering lights, will be serving a delicious array of warming winter cocktails. Throughout the winter season, Skylight will have a changing programme of cutting edge DJs, seasonal events and parties including New Year’s Eve celebrations and a Burns Night ceilidh.

For more ideas and inspiration on how to get the best out of a holiday or day trip in England, whatever the weather, visit: