Inbound transport research

Visitors used a variety of types of transport during their stay in Britain.

Every year we add extra questions to the Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey to help us better understand the needs and characteristics of overseas visitors to Britain.

One of the questions that we added during 2013 focused on the types of transport that visitors used during their stay. The table presents the proportion of visits that entailed using each of the different types of transport that were asked about.

Types of transport used by visitors

Type of transport Percentage
Domestic flight 2%
Bus, tube, tram or metro train (within town/city) 53%
Train (outside town/city) 28%
Taxi 32%
Public bus/coach (outside town/city) 8%
Private coach/minibus (for group only) 4%
Hired self-drive car/vehicle 8%
Car/vehicle you/group brought to the UK 15%
Ferry/boat 2%
None of these 10%
Source: International Passenger Survey, 2013

The most often used mode of transport is ‘bus, tube, tram or metro train (within town/city)’, which is reported to be used by just more than half of all respondents. Very nearly one-in-three say they use a taxi during their time in Britain and 28% use a train to travel outside of towns and cities.

Less than one-in-ten visits entailed the use of a hired self-drive car or vehicle, about half the number (15%) who said that they had used a car or vehicle that was brought to Britain by either themselves or one of their travelling group.

The 10% saying that they did not use any of the forms of transport listed looks high at first sight, but unlike previous occasions when a question similar to this has been asked, respondents were not asked in 2013 whether they had used a car or vehicle that belonged to a friend or relative who lives in Britain. It is probably that most of those not using any of the modes listed were visitors whose transport needs were met by those that they were visiting.

Read our full report on types of transport that inbound visitors to Britain use (PDF, 1.71MB) during their stay. Published June 2014