Within our trade statistics, data from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) are the main source for travel services, making up around 8% of total trade. The data give a breakdown of the types of travel undertaken, the expenditure of both foreign residents visiting the UK as well as UK residents visiting the rest of the world.
For Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020, we were able to use monthly data for January and February, and to use partial responses for March to model that month's data. While we recognise these deliveries were at an earlier stage in processing, they have provided early indication of travel impact as countries introduced strict lockdown measures.
With the IPS suspended from 16 March 2020 we have been investigating alternative ways to continue to measure these services.
The UK Trade team has been working with ONS's Data Science Campus to create new estimates using alternative data sources. We have looked to include the most diverse range of data sources as possible such as passenger, economic and wider data sources. The data sources reviewed include Civil Aviation Authority, Ferries, Eurostar, Trade in Goods, monthly output data for the service sector and weather.
This model will be introduced from our April 2020 trade release, published on 12 June. We will continue to use and develop these estimates over the coming months.
In addition, the suspension of the IPS also affects ONS's Travel and Tourism estimates. Travel and Tourism data are expected to be published for Quarter 1 and March, using returns from January and February and the partial Reponses for March.
While the IPS is not operational the usual travel and tourism outputs from the IPS will not be published. However, the ONS will publish information to help users understand trends in total international travel, based on the available administrative data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Department for Transport (DfT). This will provide figures on numbers of international journeys arriving into and departing from the UK, but there will be no information about the country of residence of these passengers, nor their spending. . The ONS is also investigating whether other data sources could help give further details of travellers’ residence and their spending patterns.
Initial figures will be produced in July 2020, relating to passenger numbers in April and May. These will be published alongside the provisional travel and tourism estimates for Quarter 1 2020.
In October, when the data for the second quarter are usually published, we will provide more information on international travel patterns for the quarter, drawing on available data sources.
Information on how the ONS plans to measure migration following the suspension of the IPS can be found in our overview of the transformation of the population and migration statistics system.