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Release: Travel Trends, 2011

Released: 26 July 2012


Roger Smith

Social Surveys

Telephone: +44 (0)1633 455277

Categories: People and Places, People, Tourism

Frequency of release: Annually

Language: English

Geographical coverage: GB

Geographical breakdown: Region

  • 2011 saw an increase in number of overseas visits both to and from the UK for the first time since 2006.

  • Overseas residents made 3.3 per cent more visits to the UK in 2011 compared with 2010 and in total stayed for 3.2 per cent more nights and spent 6.5 per cent more money on these visits.

  • UK residents made 2.3 per cent more visits abroad. However, they stayed for 2.0 per cent less nights and spent 0.4 per cent less money on these visits in 2011 compared with 2010.

  • Visits to the UK from each of North America, Europe and Other Countries rose in 2011.

  • Similarly, visits for each of the main purposes of visit, holiday, business and to visit friends or relatives, all grew. The rise in holiday visits is a continuation of a trend dating back to 2002, whereas both business visits and those to visit friends or relatives represent some recovery following falls in recent years.

  • Overseas residents made 15.3 million overnight visits to London in 2011, an increase of 584,000 (4.0 per cent) from 2010, and spent an estimated £9.4 billion on visits to the Capital.

  • Overnight visits to the rest of England grew by 3.4 per cent to 13.0 million in 2011 while those to Scotland and Wales were broadly unchanged at 2.3 million and 0.9 million respectively.

  • The average visit abroad by UK residents was shorter haul in 2011 than in 2010. Visits to Europe grew by 3.5 per cent while those to North America grew by 0.4 per cent and those to Other Countries fell by 2.6 per cent.

  • Holiday visits abroad grew by 1.1 per cent, business visits by 3.1 per cent and those visiting friends or relatives increased by 6.9 per cent.

  • The increase in visits abroad occurred primarily among residents of London, which grew by 5.0 per cent from 11.1 million in 2010 to 11.7 million. Visits abroad by residents of the rest of England and Wales showed smaller increases of less than 1 per cent while visits abroad by residents of Scotland fell by 1.1 per cent.

Presents the main annual results from the International Passenger Survey (IPS), which collects information from passengers as they enter or leave the UK by the principal air, sea and tunnel routes.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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