34+ UK Tourism Statistics, Facts, and Trends [2023]

UK tourism statistics
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  • In 2022, London had 16.1M visits, a 26% drop from 2019.
  • The UK saw 31.2M visitors in 2022, a 24% decrease from 2019.
  • The UK’s tourism sector yields £100.8B annually.
  • The UK’s travel market is set to hit £30.69B in 2023, growing at 1.58% CAGR to £33.05B by 2027.
The UK travel market is projected to reach £33.05B by 2027 from £30.69B in 2023
  • In 2022, the UK’s tourism contributed about £237B to the GDP. By 2025, this is expected to exceed £257B, or 11% of the GDP.
  • The UK saw about 4.6M visits from the US in 2022, making it the top inbound market.

The Economic Footprint of the UK’s Travel and Tourism

  • In 2022, the UK’s tourism contributed about £237B to the GDP. By 2025, this is expected to exceed £257B, or 11% of the GDP.
UK Tourism’s Contribution to GDP: 2019–2022, Predictions for 2025 and 2033In Billion GBP
2019248.50
2022237.10
2025257.4
2033314.3
  • Travel and tourism will support about 4.02M jobs in the UK by the end of 2023.
UK Travel and Tourism’s Employment Impact: 2019–2022, Predictions for 2023 and 2033In Million Jobs
20194.28
20223.64
20234.02
20335.15
  • The UK’s “Hotels” segment is set to surpass £17.31B in revenue by 2027.
UK Tourism Market Earnings by Segment: 2017–2027 (in Billion GBP)HotelsPackage HolidaysVacation RentalsCruisesCamping
201714.358.013.431.810.63
201814.778.113.481.860.66
201915.218.203.541.910.69
20203.893.421.790.320.48
20215.095.192.380.960.55
202214.796.883.301.140.56
202316.578.333.651.550.69
202416.938.393.681.780.78
202517.218.423.711.940.87
202617.458.453.731.950.90
202717.658.483.741.950.94

The Travel Landscape: Inbound, Outbound, and Domestic Insights

  • On average, people in the UK travel 2–3 times a year for business or leisure.
UK Travel Frequency by Purpose as of March 2023 (in %)For LeisureFor Business
Not at all1757
Once1610
2–3 times3416
4–5 times138
6–10 times64
More than 10 times136
  • Nearly 71M trips originated from the UK in 2022.
UK Outbound Tourist Trips: 2007–2022In Millions
200769.45
200869.01
200963.51
201064.65
201167.49
201266.86
201368.96
201472.20
201577.62
201681.76
201787.24
201890.57
201993.09
202023.83
202119.14
202270.95
  • In 2022, UK residents made about 51.3M visits to the EU.
The UK Visits to the EU: 2011–2022In Millions
201147.42
201247.60
201349.35
201451.84
201555.92
201660.24
201764.08
201865.81
201966.96
202114.64
202251.30
  • In 2022, Britons visited Spain the most, totaling around 15.6M trips.
Top Destinations for UK Residents (2022)In 1,000 Visits
Spain15,623
France7,433
Italy3,991
Greece3,688
Portugal3,643
United States3,410
Ireland2,824
Turkey2,563
Poland2,392
Netherlands1,931
Germany1,919
India1,317
Romania1,224
United Arab Emirates998
Belgium952
Switzerland816
Mexico697
Morocco650
Cyprus605
Austria585
  • In 2022, the UK received just over 31M overseas visits, with a projected increase to 37.5M in 2023.
Overseas Visits to the UK: 2002–2022, Predictions for 2023In Millions
200224.18
200324.72
200427.76
200529.97
200632.71
200732.78
200831.89
200931.07
201030.40
201131.89
201232.22
201333.57
201435.34
201536.79
201639.13
201741.08
201840.28
201940.86
202011.10
20216.38
202231.20
202337.50
  • In 2022, overseas visitors spent nearly 263M nights in the UK, averaging 8.4 nights per trip.
UK Inbound Tourist Overnight Stays: 2004–2022In Millions
2004227.40
2005249.20
2006273.40
2007251.50
2008245.80
2009241
2010236.20
2011247.60
2012242.30
2013256.30
2014277.80
2015283.90
2016299.70
2017312.70
2018291.30
2019289.60
202193.50
2022262.90
  • In 2022, around 61% of the UK’s inbound trips came from EU countries.
Percentage Distribution of EU and Non-EU Visitors to the UK: 2011–2022EURest of World
201165.8034.20
20126634
201365.6034.40
201465.9034.10
201564.2035.80
201663.8036.20
20176040
201860.3039.70
201960.8039.20
202169.1030.90
202260.7039.30
  • The UK saw about 4.6M visits from the US in 2022, making it the top inbound market.
Top Inbound Countries to the UK by Visits (2022)In 1,000s
United States4.587
France2.830
Ireland2.509
Germany2.233
Spain2.012
Netherlands1.632
Poland1.345
Italy1.313
Canada897
Switzerland862
Australia723
Belgium679
Romania634
Sweden630
Denmark566
  • Holidays were the top reason for inbound visits to the UK in 2022.
Reasons to Visit the UK (2022)Numbers of Visitors in Millions
Holiday12.1
Visiting friends and relatives11.8
Business5.1
Miscellaneous1.9
Study0.35
  • The UK’s “Package Holidays” segment is projected to grow by 0.1M users (+0.75%) from 2023 to 2027, peaking at 13.51M in the seventh year.
UK Package Holiday Users: 2017–2027In Millions
201712.99
201813.12
201913.26
20205.52
20218.35
202211.06
202313.37
202413.43
202513.47
202613.49
202713.51
  • The UK’s “Hotels” segment is projected to grow by 0.9M users (+2.61%) from 2023 to 2027, reaching a record 35.47M in the seventh year.
UK Hotel User Numbers: 2017–2027In Millions
201732.63
201833.14
201933.62
20208.47
202110.91
202231.22
202334.54
202434.88
202535.12
202635.31
202735.47
  • The UK’s “Vacation Rentals” segment is set to grow by 0.2M users (+1.21%) from 2023 to 2027, peaking at 16.67M in the seventh year.
UK Vacation Rental Users: 2017–2027In Millions
201716.59
201816.62
201916.65
20208.33
202110.93
202215.03
202316.52
202416.58
202516.62
202616.65
202716.67

Cities, Attractions, Hotels, and Music Events

  • London topped the UK’s tourist destinations in 2022 with slightly above 16M international visitors.
Top UK Cities by International Visits (2022)In 1,000 Visits
London16,118
Edinburgh1,796
Manchester1,230
Birmingham803
Liverpool680
Glasgow618
Bristol455
Cambridge440
Oxford425
Brighton/Hove339
Leeds289
Bath273
Newcastle-upon-Tyne248
Cardiff204
Southampton194
York193
Nottingham189
Leicester180
Luton165
Inverness165
  • In 2022, Windsor Great Park was the UK’s top attraction, with over 5.6M visitors.
Most Visited Attractions in the UK (2022)Number of Visitors in Millions
The Crown Estate, Windsor Great Park5.64
Natural History Museum (South Kensington)4.65
The British Museum4.10
Tate Modern3.88
Southbank Centre2.95
The National Gallery2.73
V&A South Kensington2.37
Somerset House2.35
Science Museum2.33
Tower of London2.02
  • Premier Inn leads UK hotel brands with a 73% positive rating as of Q2 2023.
Leading Hotel Brands in the UK (as of Q2 2023)Share of People Who Have a Positive Opinion of a Hotel Brand
Premier Inn73%
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts56%
Travelodge56%
Holiday Inn54%
Hilton49%
Haven Holidays43%
Savoy Hotel42%
Marriott40%
Ritz39%
Ibis38%
  • In 2022, around 14.4M tourists attended live music events in the UK.
Tourists at UK Live Music Events: 2016–2022In Millions
20169.50
201710.90
201811.20
201912.60
202214.40
  • In 2022, London’s music events drew about 4.9M visitors, a third of the UK’s total, with 4.4M domestic and 500K international tourists.
UK Live Music Event Tourists: Domestic and International by Country and Region in 2022 (in 1,000s)Domestic TouristsInternational Tourists
London4,400500
North West1,800120
Scotland1,400110
South West1,00053
South East89565
West Midlands89050
Yorkshire and the Humber81050
East of England54030
Wales48030
East Midlands48030
North East33020
Northern Ireland25020
  • British Airways is the most popular airline in the UK, with a 60% positive rating as of Q1 2023.
Leading Air Carriers in the UK (as of Q1 2023)In %
British Airways60
Virgin Atlantic52
Emirates48
EasyJet46
TUI Airways46
Qantas41
Jet2.com40
Lufthansa38
Ryanair36
KLM34
Qatar Airways34
Etihad Airways33
  • In 2022, EasyJet, the UK’s biggest airline by passengers, uplifted over 33M people.
Passengers Carried by UK Airlines (2022)In Millions
EasyJet UK Ltd33.12
British Airways Plc30.71
Jet2.Com Ltd15.53
TUI Airways Ltd11.30
Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd4.15
Wizz Air UK Ltd3.67
BA CityFlyer Ltd2.25
Ryanair UK Ltd1.87
Loganair Ltd1.29
Aurigny Air Services0.52
  • British Airways tops the list of the UK’s most recognized airlines with a 94% brand awareness rate.
UK’s Top Airline Brands by Brand Awareness (2022)In %
British Airways94
easyJet92
Ryanair89
Emirates87
Virgin Atlantic86
Jet284
TUIfly80
American Airlines71
Flybe67
Air France66
Lufthansa62
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines59
Wizz Air45
Norwegian44
Eurowings28
Pegasus Airlines27
  • With close to 61.6M passengers, Heathrow was the busiest airport in the UK in 2022, outpacing the combined traffic of Gatwick and Stansted.
Passenger Count at Select UK Airports: 2007–2022 (in 1,000s)HeathrowGatwickStanstedManchester
200767,85235,16623,75921,892
200866,90734,16222,34021,063
200965,90732,36119,95018,630
201065,74531,34218,56217,663
201169,39133,64418,04718,807
201269,98334,21917,46519,654
201372,33235,42917,84920,680
201473,37138,09419,95821,950
201574,95440,26022,51323,095
201675,67243,11424,31825,599
201777,98845,55325,90327,774
201880,10046,08127,99528,256
201980,88746,57528,12429,367
202022,11010,1727,5377,029
202119,3986,2607,1466,083
202261,59732,83123,29023,340

UK Tourism: Spending Snapshots

  • International visitors spent roughly £26.5B in the UK in 2022, with an average of £848 each. This is set to grow to an estimated £30.9B in 2023, surpassing 2019 levels.
Expenditure of Overseas Visitors in the UK: 2004–2022, Predictions for 2023In Billion GBP
200413.05
200514.25
200616
200715.96
200816.32
200917.59
201017.80
201118.97
201219.78
201322.24
201423.42
201523.84
201625.42
201728.40
201826.51
201928.45
20206.21
20215.65
202226.50
202330.90
  • In 2022, US tourists led UK inbound spending, contributing close to £6B.
Top Spending Inbound Travel Markets for the UK: 2022In Million GBP
United States5,962
France1,575
Germany1,392
Australia1,118
Spain1,055
Ireland1,027
Canada934
Netherlands894
Italy798
United Arab Emirates793
India764
Switzerland647
Norway418
Poland415
Belgium402
  • In 2022, Britons spent about £58.5B on overseas trips.
UK Outbound Tourism Expenditure: 2007–2022In Million GBP
200735.01
200836.84
200934.46
201037.13
201137.92
201238.48
201341.37
201443.07
201546.48
201650.86
201754.43
201858.13
201962.33
202013.76
202115.55
202258.54
  • In 2022, domestic travelers contributed 84.7% of the UK’s total travel and tourism spending.
UK Travel and Tourism Expenditure Breakdown: 2019–2022, by Tourist Type (in %)Domestic SpendingInternational Spending
20198119
202284.7015.30
  • In the UK, leisure travel accounted for 70.8% of all tourism spending.
Breakdown of Travel and Tourism Spending in the UK by Type: 2019–2022Leisure SpendingBusiness Spending
201968.6031.40
202270.8029.20
  • In 2022, music tourism in the UK generated about £6.6B.
Music Tourism Expenditure in the UK: 2016–2022In Billion GBP
20163.40
20174
20184.50
20194.70
20226.60

Stacking It All Up

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A comprehensive list of UK tourism, facts, and trends.

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FAQ

How many people visit the UK?

The UK saw 31.2M visitors in 2022, a 24% decrease from 2019.

Who visits the UK the most?

The UK saw about 4.6M visits from the US in 2022, making it the top inbound market.

How many tourists visit London every year?

In 2022, London had 16.1M visits, a 26% drop from 2019.

How big is the tourism industry in the UK?

The UK’s tourism sector yields £100.8B annually.

How much money does the UK make from tourism?

In 2022, the UK’s tourism contributed about £237B to the GDP. By 2025, this is expected to exceed £257B, or 11% of the GDP.

Sources