14 August 2015, 09:30am
A minor error has been identified due to a change in the grouping of purpose codes used in the creation of regional statistics for Overseas Travel and Tourism, Provisional Results, Quarters 1, 2, 3 and 4, 2014. This slightly affects the distribution of visits to and spending in UK regions only (Reference Tables 13 and 14). The revised data can be found in Travel Trends, 2014.
20 May 2015, 11:00am
Overseas Travel and Tourism quarterly estimates are revised during the processing of the annual dataset. The most up-to-date and accurate estimates for all published quarters can be found in Travel Trends 2014.
Please note that during the annual data processing, the 2014 data have been revised to include updated factors for imbalance and rail expenditure imputation, resulting in larger changes than usually observed between quarterly statistical bulletins and the annual Travel Trends publication. We identified that, for consistency, these updated factors should be applied to the 2013 Q3 and Q4 data. Also, an error in the treatment of the unsampled traffic data for the Quarter 1 data was corrected during the annual data processing. The data tables in section 6 of Travel Trends, 2014 include corrected Quarter 1 data.
The Overseas Travel and Tourism expenditure estimates were re-instated as National Statistics following a formal review by the UK Statistics Authority for their compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. On 18 November 2014 ONS announced errors had been identified in the expenditure estimates for UK residents' visits abroad and overseas residents' visits to the UK within the Overseas Travel and Tourism release and National Statistics status removed. The errors in the expenditure estimates affected data between January 2014 and September 2014 and because the data feeds into the imports and exports of service also affected the UK Trade releases over the same period. Further information can be found within the official ONS statement regarding the error. These errors have been corrected in the republished 2014 monthly and quarterly bulletins.
ONS apologises for any inconvenience.Back to table of contents
Compared with the same quarter a year ago, visits to the UK by overseas residents increased by 4.0% to 10.2 million in quarter 3 2014. The number of nights spent in the UK, by overseas residents, rose by 1.9%, and the estimated earnings from these visits increased by 2.5% to £7.4 billion.
Visits abroad by UK residents during quarter 3, 2014 increased by 2.1% to 20.8 million compared with quarter 3, 2013. The number of nights spent abroad, by UK residents, rose by 0.4%, and expenditure during these visits increased by 1.5% to £12.8 billion.Back to table of contents
The sample profile and responses are calibrated to international passenger traffic for the reporting period.
Estimates are based on interviews conducted when passengers end their visit. Therefore any visits commencing in the reported quarter but not completed until later are not included in estimates for the reported quarter.
Spending associated with visits includes anything spent before, during and after the trip.
Parts of the report refer to countries visited abroad. It should be noted that if a UK resident visited more than one country on a trip abroad, the country recorded as visited in this publication is the country that was visited for the longest period.
Estimates are subject to sampling error, and confidence intervals are provided to help readers interpret the estimates (see background note: Accuracy of IPS estimates). Further guidance is provided about the quality of Overseas Travel and Tourism estimates (404.8 Kb Pdf) .
Following Croatia joining the European Union on 1st July 2013, the categories representing 'Europe' and the 'European Union' have been been updated to incorporate Croatia as a member of the European Union and to clairfy the membership of the different groupings. Please see 'Background Notes: Geographical areas' for more information.
International visits to the UK by overseas residents have continued to rise during 2014. An estimated 10.2 million visits were made in quarter 3 2014, this was an increase of 4.0% when compared with 9.8 million visits made during the same period in 2013.
'Holiday' remains the most popular reason for overseas residents visits to the UK. In quarter 3 2014 4.5 million holiday visits were made to the UK, this was a continuation of the upward trend in holiday visits seen in previous quarters.
Among all visits to the UK by overseas residents in quarter 3 2014 compared with the same quarter in 2013, business visits to the UK recorded the largest increase of 12.0% from a year earlier. Business visits saw an increase across all regions with visits from 'Other Countries' increasing by 12.6% and European and North American visits rising by 12.5% and 8.1% respectively compared to quarter 3 2013. The number of visitors to the UK who were visiting friends or relatives increased by 3.1% in quarter 3 2014 compared with the same quarter in 2013.
Visits from residents of Europe rose by 4.6% to 6.9 million in quarter 3 2014 compared with quarter 3 2013, while visits from residents of 'Other Countries' rose by 4.0% to 2.0 million continuing the upward trend seen in recent years. Visits from residents of North America increased by 1.2% (to 1.3 million).
Overall, an estimated total of 92.1 million nights were spent in the UK by overseas residents this quarter, this is an increase of 1.9% compared to quarter 3 in 2013. The number of nights spent in the UK by overseas visitors from North America, Europe and 'Other Countries' increased by 2.0%, 2.5% and 0.9% respectively, in quarter 3 2014.
Overnight visits to London and the individual countries were higher in quarter 3 2014 than during the same period in 2013. Overnight visits to London, England (including London), Scotland and Wales increased by 2.7%, 2.9%, 7.9% and 7.5% respectively.
Estimated earnings from all visits to the UK grew by 2.5% from £7.2 billion (quarter 3 2013) to £7.4 billion (quarter 3 2014). Spending by residents of North America during their visit to the UK saw the largest increase in quarter 3 2014, rising by 9.3% to £1.2 billion. Spending by residents of Europe and 'Other Countries' also rose by 1.8% and 0.6% respectively.
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UK residents made 20.8 million visits abroad in quarter 3 2014, an increase of 2.1% when compared to the same quarter in 2013. Visits to Europe increased by 1.9%, those to longer haul destinations such as North America and 'Other Countries' also rose by 8.8% and 0.6% respectively.
Holiday visits continue to be the main purpose for UK visits abroad. In quarter 3 2014, there were 14.7 million holiday visits which was an increase of 1.3% compared to the same quarter a year ago. Visits to friends or relatives increased by 4.7% in this quarter, compared to the same period in 2013, and business visits also grew by 4.8%.
In quarter 3 2014 UK residents spent 240.1 million nights abroad, this was an increase of 0.4% compared with quarter 3 2013. The rise in visits to North America is reflected in the increase in nights spent in North America by UK residents during quarter 3 2014. 19.1 million nights were spent in North America in quarter 3 2014, a rise of 4.7% compared with quarter 3 2013. Nights spent in Europe also saw a rise of 1.5% in this quarter, however there was a fall in the number of nights spent in 'Other countries' of 4.0%.
UK residents spent £12.8 billion during visits abroad in quarter 3 2014, an increase of 1.5% compared with £12.6 billion spent in the same period of 2013. Expenditure in North America rose by 7.2% while spending in Europe and 'Other countries' increased by 0.7% and 1.1% respectively.
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Further analysis of overseas travel and tourism trends are provided in the publications:
Monthly Overseas Travel and Tourism , latest publication November 2014 published 15 January 2015; next release December 2014 to be published on the 12 February 2015
Travel Trends, latest publication Travel Trends 2013 published May 8 2014, next publication Travel Trends 2013 to be published May 2015. This publication provides more detailed analysis of visits and spending, including analysis by demographics, towns in the UK visited and countries visited by residents of different parts of the UK.
Travelpac is a data set which allows users to conduct their own analysis of quarterly and annual data on key variables. The datasets are provided in SPSS and Excel, latest publication Quarter 3 2014 published 15 January 2015.
Note that estimates are subject to revision between the Monthly Statistical Bulletin and the Quarterly publication and again when Travel Trends is published. Revisions result from more accurate passenger figures being made available, more information about the IPS revisions policy is available in the Quality and Methodology Information (331.7 Kb Pdf) .
Note that, although data by the International Passenger Survey (IPS) also feeds into the calculation of migration statistics, the Overseas Travel and Tourism publications do not provide any information relating to International migration
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