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Travel Trends

Online Catalogue | Official Publications | Non-Parliamentary Official Publications | ONS |  Travel Trends

Travel Trends is an annual publication which presents some of the key trends in overseas travel and tourism drawn from the findings of the International Passenger Survey (IPS). Analysis is based on completed visits (for any purpose) of less than 12 months’ duration by:
a) overseas residents to the UK, and
b) UK residents abroad

What is the International Passenger Survey?
The IPS is a continuous survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the results of which are used by a number of government departments and organisations. The results are based on face-to-face interviews with a random sample of passengers as they enter or leave the UK by the principal air, sea and tunnel routes.

Travel Trends 2021Travel Trends 2021 is in stock now
Travel Trends 2021
Data from the International Passenger Survey. Including CD-ROM of data.

Visits to the UK by overseas residents, visits abroad by UK residents and spending estimates by travellers.

Main points
  • Overseas residents made 6.2 million visits to the UK in 2021; this was 44% less than in 2020 as travel continued to be reduced because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • Overseas residents spent £5.8 billion on their visits to the UK in 2021; this was 7% less than in 2020.
  • UK residents made 19.1 million visits abroad in 2021, which was 20% less than the previous year and was because of the continued travel restrictions.
  • UK residents spent £15.5 billion on visits abroad in 2021; this was an 12% increase on 2020.
  • The average length of stay for both overseas residents and UK residents visits was much longer than in previous years and resulted in a higher spend per visit.
  • Some visits and spend are lower in 2021 than 2020; this is because travel in the first quarter of 2020 (January to March) was unrestricted.
  • Following the suspension of data collection on 16 March 2020, data collection by the International Passenger Survey (IPS) was restarted on 18 January 2021 after travel restrictions were relaxed; estimates for the period April to December 2020 in this release are based on administrative sources and modelling.

The estimates provided for 2021 should be treated with caution as the numbers are much smaller than precoronavirus pandemic years, especially for the first six months of the year, resulting in some cases with larger confidence intervals. The data exclude the EuroTunnel completely and the Dover ferries until August 2021 as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) was unable to interview at these sites. No estimates are included for any travel across the Irish border. 
Office for National Statistics (ONS)
Published by
Dandy Booksellers Ltd
Publication Date
9 August 2020
91 pages plus CD-ROM
A4 (210 x 297 mm)
Approx Weight
0.25 kg
HS Code

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