New figures show increase in domestic tourism for 2015, with overnight trips up 11% and record breaking spending

11 April 2016: The latest results from the Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) published today reveal strong growth in domestic tourism in 2015 with record-breaking spending and the highest trip numbers since 2012.

Key figures include:

  • 103 million overnight trips recorded in England, an 11% increase compared to 2014.
  • 8% increase in expenditure compared to 2014, with a total spend of £19.6 billion - a record.
  • The number of holidays taken in England in 2015 increased by 7% from the previous year to 43.7 million and holiday expenditure also increased by 7%.
  • Visits to friends and relatives were an important driver of growth with the number of trips up by 13% to 40.6 million, the highest level since 2006, and a 15% increase in expenditure.
  • All regions across England experienced growth in overnight trips and spend.
  • Regions which saw the biggest increases in overnight trips include Yorkshire (+20%), the West Midlands (+22%), London (+14%) and the South West (+14%).
  • Regions seeing double-digit increase in spend include the West Midlands (+26%), North East (+15%), South West (+13%) and Yorkshire (+11%).
  • Trips to the English countryside saw growth of 17%.
  • 124 million trips recorded across Great Britain, a 9% increase on 2014 with spend also up by 9% to £25 billion.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said: "Tourism is one of our fastest growing sectors and we are absolutely committed to helping support the industry across the whole country. 

"The increase in visitors and spend throughout the regions is excellent news for our economy and shows that our stunning countryside and world-leading attractions are a huge draw for domestic visitors."

VisitEngland/VisitBritain Chief Executive Officer Sally Balcombe said: “These hugely encouraging results demonstrate the growing importance of tourism to the UK economy as we continue our drive to get visitors out exploring more of our regions, ensuring that economic growth from tourism is felt across the whole country.”


About GBTS

  • A background to the survey can be found here: About GBTS and GBDVS
  • The survey is jointly sponsored by VisitEngland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales, and carried out by independent research agency TNS
  • Interviewing is carried out every week of the year using a face-to-face methodology. Annually, some 100,000 respondents are contacted, and any who have returned from an overnight trip within the past four weeks are asked to describe the details of that trip.
  • The full results can be found here: GBTS 2015

About VisitEngland

  • VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board, sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport. We work in partnership with Government and the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors. Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights.
  • England is a unique destination and a real powerhouse in global tourism. Tourism in England represents 84 per cent of the total UK visitor economy, is worth £106 billion*, and supports 2.6 million jobs. (*this figures relates to the direct and indirect GDP of tourism in England in 2013).
  • For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit England Research and Insights