Inbound visitor statistics for Q1 2022 (January - March)
The travel and tourism statistics published by The Office for National Statistics (ONS) are based on the results of the International Passenger Survey (IPS), but the running of the survey has been impacted because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
During the first quarter of 2022, the IPS survey had restarted at the majority of ports but did not operate at Eurotunnel due to COVID-19 restrictions. Therefore, the data for all passengers below does not represent the total inbound market for Q1 2022.
Please find a summary of the Q1 2022 data below as well as in this quarterly summary report. This report also includes some analysis by VisitBritain whereby we have extracted Eurotunnel data from 2019 so that we can make direct comparisons between Q1 2019 and Q1 2022 inbound statistics (see section 2).
The sample for the first quarter is lower than usual so please note the sample sizes when interpreting results.
Visits, spend and nights
|All passengers||Q1 2022 (Jan-Mar)|
There were 3.8 million inbound visits to the UK in Q1 2022, still well below pre-pandemic levels.
Inbound visitors spent £3.1 billion in the first quarter.
In total, 37.6 million nights were spent in the UK during this quarter.
The average spend per visit was £810, but this excluded any spend by those departing the UK by Eurotunnel.
Visits and spend by journey purpose
|Journey Purpose (Visits)||Q1 2022 (Jan-Mar)|
|Misc. (excl. study)||392,000|
|Journey Purpose (Spend)||Q1 2022 (Jan-Mar)|
|Misc. (excl. study)||£513m|
In the first quarter of 2022, all journey purposes were still a fraction of normal levels due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There were 1.7 million visits to friends and relatives, still making up the largest proportion of visits (44%) as they had been in 2021. These visitors spent £1.0bn, accounting for around one third of inbound spend.
There were only 928,000 holiday visits from January to March, accounting for just under one quarter of all inbound visits. Holiday visitors spent £821m (27% of inbound spend).
Following closely behind, there were 787,000 business visits in Q1 2022 who spent £553m.
Study visits totalled at 40,000 with those visitors spending £166m in the UK.
All other visits, under ‘miscellaneous’ accounted for 392,000 visits and £513m spend.
Visits and spend by global region
|Global Region (Visits)||Q1 2022 (Jan-Mar)|
|Total Europe||2.9 million|
|EU Total||2.6 million|
|EU 15||2.1 million|
|Rest of Europe||262,000|
|Rest of World||509,000|
|Global Region (Spend)||Q1 2022 (Jan-Mar)|
|Rest of Europe||£173m|
|Rest of World||£1.1bn|
By global region, the majority of visits were from Europe in Q1 2022 - totalling at 2.9 million visits (although this excludes visits by the Eurotunnel which is a popular route for those visiting from Europe). Visitors from Europe spent £1.5bn (50% of inbound spend).
Within Europe, there were 2.6 million visits from EU markets vs 262,000 from the Rest of Europe – spending £1.4bn and £173m, respectively.
There were 427,000 visits from North America who spent £485m in Q1 2022.
Visits from the Rest of the World were still lagging behind with just 509,000 visits in Q1 with those visitors spending £1.1bn.
Detailed historical data from 2009 to Q1 2020 is available at the UK level and the regional level. Please visit the 2020 inbound page and the 2021 inbound page for inbound statistics regarding those years. Read the latest monthly data for 2022.
More detailed information on 2022 inbound data can be found on the ONS website.