Our performance & reporting

Attracting more visitors. Increasing spend. Contributing more to the economy. A small, focused, highly effective agency, we consistently ensure our activity really counts, exceeding targets set by Government, adding value to the English and British tourism industry and the English and British economy.

VisitBritain/VisitEngland achievements 2017/18

For every £1 the Government has invested in VisitBritain/VisitEngland for domestic and international marketing, a visitor spends £25 here in Britain.

In 2017/18, our international and domestic marketing activity generated £1 billion of additional visitor spend across the nations and regions of Britain. This means that for every £1 invested in us, an additional £25 is spent and benefits the economy.









In 2017/18The VisitBritain Shop generated £27.8 million in revenue, with over £2 million profit invested in marketing Britain overseas.

The year also saw us continue to build on powerful partnerships, generating £13 million in private sector investment across our activity.









Domestic tourism performance

Domestic tourism in England supports thousands of businesses and employs 2.6 million people. In 2017/18 England saw record levels of visits and spend by domestic visitors. And growth swept the nation with many of the country’s nine regions seeing uplift. Overall, visitor spend in England reached £91 billion, accounting for over 80% of the total visitor spend for Britain.












There were 100.6 million domestic overnight trips taken in England in 2017, worth £19 billion. These figures represent an increase from last year of 1% and 3% respectively, powered by a rise in domestic holiday trips of 6%.

Day visits contributed more than £50 billion to the English economy in 2017, with visitor attractions across England reporting a 2% increase in visits during 2017, led by trips to historic houses and castles (up 4%), and other historic properties (up 8%).

And there are encouraging signs for domestic tourism in England in the first six months of 2018. Domestic overnight trips were up by 3%, whilst expenditure has risen by 4%. Holiday trips also grew by 1% between January-June 2018, whilst VFR and business trips have both increased (4% and 9% respectively) following a period of stagnation or decline.

Domestic tourism key facts

  • 100.6 million domestic overnight trips were taken in England in 2017
  • £19 billion was spent on domestic overnight trips in England in 2017
  • 1.5 billion domestic day visits were taken in England, accounting for £50.1 billion in spend in 2017
  • In 2017, domestic holidays to England reached 47.2 million, up 6% on last year
  • £11 billion was spent on domestic holidays to England in 2017, up 6% on 2016
  • 5.8 million more domestic holidays of 1-3 nights were taken in England in 2017 than in 2007
  • 16-34 year olds took 12% more domestic holidays in England in 2017 than in 2016


Inbound tourism performance

In 2017/18, the UK achieved a record £24.5 billion in overseas visitor spend, up 9% on 2016 and well above the long-term, average growth rate. The total overseas visits to the UK rose by 4%, reaching 39.2 million in 2017.

2017’s growth in inbound tourism was led by holiday visits, which grew by 11% to 15.4 million with their spend increasing at an even faster rate, 22%, to £10.6 billion. Visits to friends and relatives saw growth of 4% in 2017, bringing 12.0 million visits to the UK and spending £5.8 billion, up 15%.

International visits to the English regions outside of London also grew at a similar pace overall, 3%, to 16.5 million. The North West saw the strongest growth amongst the regions of England with 3.1 million visits, up 11%.












Inbound tourism key facts

  • Direct air capacity to the UK rose 5% in 2017 compared to 2016, and is 27% higher compared to 10 years before. Seat capacity from the United States grew by 2% in 2017, China by 6% and from the United Arab Emirates by 1%.
  • Edinburgh was the second most visited city in the UK, with 2 million inbound visits, up 19% on 2016. Manchester was third, with 1.3 million visits (up 11%) and Cardiff welcomed 372,000 visits (up 4%)
  • Other cities that saw growth in international visits in 2017 included Liverpool (up 25% to 839,000), Glasgow (up 19% to 787,000), Bristol (up 6% to 602,000), and York (up 9% to 289,000)
  • The USA came top as UK’s most valuable source market in terms of visitor spending, reaching £3.6 billion in 2017 and 9% higher than 2016. Plus visits were up by 13% achieving 3.9 million.
  • Visits from the world’s most valuable outbound market, China, grew 29% to 337,000 and have grown 89% over the past five years. Spending was up 35% to £694 million in 2017 and on average, Chinese visitors spend £2,059 per visit. For every 22 Chinese visitors we attract to Britain, another tourism job is created.
  • The UK also saw increases in visits from a number of other emerging markets, such as India (up 35%), Brazil (up 31%) and Russia (up 55%).




Pixel award statue Mr Pixel the People's Champ trophy
Pixel Awards

  • Best European National Tourism Organisation in India by The India Travel Awards - December 2018
  • Placed third for best social media for French foreign destinations by WeLikeTravel- September 2018 
  • Best Publishing Website for www.VisitBritain.com at the WebAwards - September 2018
  • Europe's Leading Marketing Campaign for "24 hours in the UK" at the World Travel Awards - June 2018
  • Best Global Partnership for the Social Travel Summit Inverness at the PR Week Global awards - May 2017 
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year SME for our GREAT China naming campaign at the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards - April 2016
  • Gold in the Service Quality category for our Northern Tourism Growth Fund at the China Tourist Welcome (CTW) Awards presented by China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) - April 2016
  • Best Experiential Marketing Campaign for our GREAT China naming campaign at The Travel Marketing Awards - March 2016.
  • Gold award for 'Best integrated campaign’ with Tourism Ireland at the 2015 MEPRAs (Middle East Public Relations Awards)
  • Placed fourth out of the top 40 Best Public Relations Marketing Campaigns at the 2015 Global SABRE Awards for GREAT China Naming campaign - October 2015
  • Best Integrated Campaign award for GREAT China Naming campaign at The Drum Dream awards - October 2015
  • Honourable mention in the PR Daily's 2015 Digital PR & Social Media Awards for our InstaMeet on the Move project - August 2015
  • Communicator Award for Lovewall website - August 2015
  • Two gold and one silver award for GREAT China Naming campaign at the Cannes Lion D’Or - June 2015
  • Gold award for Sounds of Great Britain at the International Tourism Film Festival – April 2015
  • People’s Champ Award for VisitBritain’s Tumblr at the Pixel Awards – April 2015
  • GREAT China Welcome programme - Chinese Tourist Welcome Awards – April 2015