Research on inbound visitors with a health condition or impairment

Our latest Foresight report, Inbound visitors to the UK with a health condition or impairment, looks at the accessible needs and experiences of inbound visitors and travelling groups to Britain with a health condition or impairment, and their travel behaviour and visitor numbers in 2018 compared with those from 2010. 

Key findings

  • Since 2010, inbound visits from those with a health condition or impairment have grown significantly: up 16% in volume and up 42% in value.
  • Growth in visitors requiring a wheelchair saw the biggest rise - up 136% since 2010.


    • Visits: 759,000 trips or 1.9% of the total inbound overnight visits to the UK in 2018 were taken by those with an impairment or travelling within a group where a member had an impairment.
    • Spend: The total expenditure generated by those visits is estimated to be £552 million, or 2.1% of all inbound visitor spending in 2018.
    • Individual impairments: health conditions or impairments most likely to be mentioned were those relating to mobility (but not requiring wheelchair use) representing 27% of all impairments mentioned. Deafness/partial hearing loss and having a long term illness was were also prevalent impairments.
    • Age: There is a clear correlation between the age of a visitor to the UK and the likelihood of them reporting a health condition or impairment. 60% of those visiting with an impairment were over 55 in age compared to 22% across UK average.
    • Average spend and trip length: Those with a health condition and their travelling group are more likely to stay for longer and spend more than the UK inbound average.
    • Top source markets: USA is the biggest source market for this group of travellers, long haul markets Australia and Canada also feature highly. The Irish Republic and Spain are top markets for Europe. 
    • Eight-year trend: Inbound visits from those with a health condition or impairment have grown by +16% in volume and +42% in value over the last eight years. Visitors with mobility impairments that require a wheelchair have seen the most significant growth across this time, up 136% since 2010.

    Download the full report (PDF, 623KB)