BRIEFING PAPERNumber 06022, 24 September 2019Tourism: statistics andpolicyBy Niamh FoleyChris RhodesInside:1. Overseas tourism2. Inbound visits3. Outbound tourism4. Domestic tourism5. Tourism and the UK economy6. Brexit and tourism7. Tourism policy8. The ‘tourism landscape’ inEngland9. Tourism policy in thedevolved nationswww.parliament.uk/commons-library intranet.parliament.uk/commons-library email@example.com @commonslibrary
Number 06022, 24 September 2019ContentsSummary22.214.171.124Overseas tourismInbound and outbound visitorsInbound and outbound tourist spending44126.96.36.199.3Inbound visitsReasons for visitInbound visitor originDestination of inbound visits778188.8.131.52Outbound tourismReasons for travelDestination of outbound visits1111184.108.40.206.3Domestic tourismGB domestic tourismReasons for domestic tripDestination of domestic tourists141415220.127.116.11.3Tourism and the UK economyEconomic outputEmploymentInternational comparisons of tourism employment17171818.104.22.168Brexit and tourismOpportunitiesChallenges2020217.7.1Tourism policyTourism Sector Deal23238.The ‘tourism landscape’ in EnglandVisitEngland and VisitBritainInter-ministerial group on tourismTourism Industry CouncilEvents Industry BoardDiscover England Fund2626272727289.Tourism policy in the devolved nationsScotlandWalesNorthern Ireland28282929Cover page image copyright: Photo by Nemanja .O. on Unsplash / image cropped2
3Tourism: statistics and policySummaryThis note includes statistics on inbound and outbound visitors to and from the UK,domestic tourism in the UK, the contribution of tourism to the UK economy and theGovernment’s tourism policy.Between 1980 and 2018, the number of inbound visits to the UK increased by 205%. Thenumber of outbound visits from the UK increased by a greater proportion – 310% overthe same period.From 2017 to 2018, the number of inbound and outbound trips fell.Visitor numbers: There were 37.9 million inbound visits to the UK in 2018, 3% fewer than in 2017.London was the most popular destination in the UK, attracting 50% of all visits.There were 72.8 million outbound visits from the UK, a fall of 1% on 2017. Spainwas the most popular destination for UK tourists, attracting 22% of all visits.There were 118.6 million domestic overnight trips made in Great Britain in 2018, a declineof 2% on the number of domestic visits made in 2017.Economic impact: In 2016, the economic output (direct GVA) of the tourism industry in the UK was 68 billion, 6% of total UK economic output.In 2016, the number of people directly employed in tourism in the UK was1.5 million, 5% of all employment.Between 2015 and 2016, the number of people directly employed in tourism fell by66,000 or 4.1%Tourism policy:Sector Deals are partnerships between certain industries and government, created as partof the government’s Industrial Strategy. In June 2019, the government announced theTourism Sector Deal. 1 The aim of the deal is to boost productivity within the tourismsector, develop skills of the UK workforce, and support tourism destinations in the UK.In the Tourism Sector Deal, the government and sector have committed to actions underthe ‘five foundations’ to help increase visitor numbers in the UK, and enhance theirexperience, as well as future proof the industry.1Gov.uk, PM announces new tourism sector deal, 27 June 2019
Number 06022, 24 September 201941. Overseas tourism1.1 Inbound and outbound visitorsIn 2018, there were 37.9 million visits to the UK by people livingabroad, which was a 3% fall compared to 2017.There were 72.8 million visits abroad by UK residents, which was alsolower than the number in 2017; a 1% decline. The chart below showsthe trend in inbound and outbound visits to and from the UK since1980. 2Visits to and from the UKThere were 37.9million inbound visitsto the UK in 2018,3% fewer than in2017. This was thefirst time the numberof overseas visits haddecreased since 2010.1980 to 2018, millions, annual data807060Outbound: visitsoverseas by UKresidents504030Inbound: visits to the UKby overseas ce: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 2019Rising prosperity and falling travel costs have led to a boom in overseastourism since the early 1980s. Between 1980 and 2018, the number ofinbound visits to the UK increased by 205%. The number of outboundvisits from the UK increased by a greater proportion – 310% over thesame period.The financial crisis of 2008/09 had an impact on both inbound andoutbound visitor numbers. The number of outbound visitors from theUK fell particularly steeply – from a peak of 69.5 million in 2006, to55.6 million in 2010. The number of outbound visitors breached the2006 peak in 2016.2ONS, Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 2019
5Tourism: statistics and policyInbound visitor numbers were also affected by the financial crisis and itsaftermath but to a lesser degree. Inbound visitor numbers fell from 32.8million in 2007 to 29.8 million in 2010 – a fall of 3.0 million visitors or9% in three years. The number of inbound visitors has since recoveredsteadily, surpassing the earlier high in 2014 and had continued to rise,until the fall from 2017 to 2018.The recent fall in inbound visitor numbers to the UK has been associatedwith the fall in European visitors. 3 Interest of Europeans to visit the UKsince the Brexit Referendum has fallen: from 72% in August 2016 to64% in March 2019. 4 Patricia Yates, from VisitBritain, has said thatthere has been an increase of a ‘wait and see attitude’ among travellersdue tothe global economic slowdown, the uncertainty related to theBrexit, as well as geopolitical and trade tensions. 5Box 1: International tourism statistics: methodology in briefOfficial data on international tourists visiting the UK and UK residents visiting foreign countries comesfrom the International Passenger Survey conducted by the Office of National Statistics.This is a continuously conducted survey which consists of around 300,000 face-to-face interviews a yearwith people arriving and departing from the major UK airports, sea routes and the Channel Tunnel.Data from this survey is also used in the provision of migration and population estimates.International tourism data are published by the ONS annually in Travel Trends and monthly in Overseastravel and tourism.345Antonia Wilson, The Guardian, Tourist numbers to the UK down while global figurescontinue to rise, 22 January 2019VisitBritain, Inbound consumer sentiment research, April 2019Penny Walker, The Telegraph, Is Brexit really to blame for a fall in visitor numbers tothe UK, 23 January 2019
Number 06022, 24 September 20191.2 Inbound and outbound tourist spendingThe total spend by overseas visitors to the UK in 2018 was 23 billion.This was a fall of 7% from 2017, when the spend was 24.5 billion.Tourism spending for visits to and from the UK1980 to 2018, billions50454035UK residentsspending abroad30252015Overseas residents10spending in the UK5019801985199019952000200520102015Source: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 2019In 2018, the total spend of UK residents abroad was 45.4 billion. Thiswas an increase of 1%, or 595 million from 2017.6
7Tourism: statistics and policy2. Inbound visits2.1 Reasons for visitThe table below shows the total number of visits to the UK by thereasons for the visit. 6Of the 37.9 million visits to the UK in 2018, 40% or 15.1 million wereas part of a holiday.11.8 million, or 31% of trips were made to visit friends or relativesresident in the UK: 8.4 million or 22% were for business reasons and afurther 2.6 million were made for other reasons.Inbound visits to the UK by reason for visit2018HolidayFriends/ relativesBusinessMiscellaneousTotalMillions% of total22.214.171.124.637.940%31%22%7%% change2017 to 2018-2%-2%-4%-16%-3%Notes Based on survey responses so subject to some sampling errorSource: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 20196Source: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 2019
Number 06022, 24 September 201982.2 Inbound visitor originThe chart below shows visits to the UK by country of residence in 2018.Visits to the UK by country of residence2018, 126.96.36.199.11.0.0Source: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 2019Of the visitors to the UK in 2018, 71% were from Europe, 12% werefrom North America and 16% were from other countries.French visitors and visitors from the USA each made 10%, and visitorsfrom Germany made 9% of visits to the UK.In total, foreign visitors to the UK in 2018 spent 22.9 billion, 7% lessthan 2017. Nearly half of the spend in 2018 (49%) was spent by visitorsfrom the Europe.Of the 71% ofEuropean visitorsto the UK, 65%were from EUcountries.
9Tourism: statistics and policyVisits to the UK by region of residence2018VisitsTotal spendAverage stay( billion)188.8.131.522.9(nights)Top ten countries by total number of visits to the UK2018USA3.910%France3.710%Germany3.39%R. of 3EuropeNorth AmericaOther CountriesTotal (whole world)Total (millions)27.04.76.137.92.01.81.81.11.0% of Total71%12%16%5%5%5%3%3%58137Notes Based on survey responses so subject to some sampling errorSource: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 20192.3 Destination of inbound visitsThe table below shows visits to the UK by destination in 2018.Destinations of overseas visitors to the UK2018VisitsEnglandScotlandWalesNorthern IrelandAll visits to the UKTotal (million)184.108.40.206.437.9% of total86%9%2%1%Top ten areas of the UK visited by overseas residents201850%London19.16%Lothian (Edinburgh)2.44%Greater Manchester1.64%West Midlands1.43%Kent1.1Greater Glasgow0.9MerseysideEast %2%Total spendAverage stay( 50.3655750.46567220.127.116.11.3Notes Based on survey responses so subject to some sampling errorSource: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 2019Half of inboundvisits to the UKwere to Londonin 2018.
Number 06022, 24 September 2019 10London was the most popular destination for overseas visitors to the UKin 2018. Half of all visits by overseas residents to the UK includedLondon. There were nearly four times as many visits to London than toScotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.The government’s policy is to encourage overseas visitors to venture outof the capital, as expressed in the Tourism Sector Deal.Visits to the UK by destination (excluding London)2018, millions, (London had 19.1 million visits in Source: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 20190.7
11 Tourism: statistics and policy3. Outbound tourism3.1 Reasons for travelThe table below shows the total number of UK visits abroad by thereasons for visit 7.Outbound visits from the UK by reason for visit2018HolidayFriends/ relativesBusinessMiscellaneousTotalMillions% of total47.016.76.61.471.766%23%9%2%% change2017 to 20181%-5%-3%-23%-1%Notes Based on survey responses so subject to some sampling errorSource: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 2019In total, 71.7 million visits were made from the UK to other destinationsin 2018, down 1% on 2017.66% of visits abroad in 2018 were holidays. 23% were to visit friendsor relatives and 9% were for business reasons.7Source: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 2019
Number 06022, 24 September 2019 123.2 Destination of outbound visitsThe table below shows outbound visits from the UK by the country ofdestination.Visits from the UK by destination2018, 2.5Source: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 2019Over a fifth of UK residents’ visits abroad were to Spain in 2018, 15.6million in total. A further 12% were to France (8.6 million).The USA was the most visited non-European destination, with 5% ofvisits.Of the 10 most popular destinations for overseas visits by UK residents,the longest average stay was in the USA (13 nights on average). Visits toPoland lasted for an average of 10 nights.80% of overseasvisits made byUK residentswere toEuropeandestinations.
13 Tourism: statistics and policyOutbound visits from the UK by main destination2018Visits% of totalTotal (million)Europe80%57.3North America6%4.0Other Countries15%10.4Total (whole world)71.7Top ten countries by total number of visits from the p. of 2.7Poland2.53%2.53%GreeceTotal World71.7Total spendAverage stay( 1.01.51.11.00.91.845.497813585510910Notes Based on survey responses so subject to some sampling errorSource: ONS, International Passenger Survey, via Travel Trends: 2018, 24 May 2019
Number 06022, 24 September 2019 144. Domestic tourism‘Domestic tourism’ is defined as residents of Great Britain taking trips ofone or more nights within Great Britain. Note that one resident takingtwo trips would count as two trips.4.1 GB domestic tourismIn total, 118.6 million domestic trips were made in 2018, down 2% onthe number made in 2017. 8Domestic overnight tourism in Great Britain2006 to 2018, millions120118.6 milliondomestic trips72.8 million foreigntrips by UKresidents1008060402002006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018Source: VisitBritain, The GB Tourist 2017 Annual Report, August 2018, p21and VisitBritain, GB Tourism Survey: 2018 Review, p2Unlike the number of outbound and inbound visits, which have bothrisen in recent years, the number of domestic trips in Great Britain has,with the exception of 2015, remained flat or has fallen since 2011.From 2006 to 2018, the number of domestic trips in Great Britain hasfallen by 4.0 million, or 3%.Over the past 12 years, the highest number of domestic trips was 126.6million in 2011, followed by 2012 with 126.0 million trips. However,there were 8% more trips in August 2012 than in August 2011, whichmay have been boosted by the Olympics. 9However, the number of domestic visits was over 50% higher than thenumber of foreign trips.Source Visit England, The GB Tourist 2017, page 6& GB- All Trip Purposes 2018, page 29VisitBritain, GB Tourist Statistics 2012, June 2013, page 88In 2018:
15 Tourism: statistics and policy4.2 Reasons for domestic tripThe table below shows overnight domestic tourism in Great Britain,broken down by reason for trip.Domestic overnight tourism in GB by reason for trip2018VisitsHolidaySpendMillions% of total( billions)57.949% 14.3 4.7Visit friends/relatives41.135%Business16.314% 4.4118.6100% 24.0TotalNotes: Based on survey responses so subject to some sampling errorIncludes all trips by GB residents within the Great Britain of one night ormoreTotal does not sum due to some respondents not giving reasonSource: VisitBritain, GB Tourism Survey: 2018 Review, p249% of all domestic tourism trips were made as part of a holiday in2018. 35% of trips were to visit friends of relatives and 14% of tripswere made for business-related reasons.
Number 06022, 24 September 2019 164.3 Destination of domestic touristsThe table below shows the destination of domestic tourist trips in 2018.Destination of GB overnight domestic tourism2018SpendVisitsMillions% of GB total( billions)England97.482% 19.3South West19.116% 4.3South East16.214% 2.7North West13.311% 2.7London11.910% 3.0Scotland11.810% 2.8Yorkshire and the Humber10.59% 1.7Wales10.08% 1.9East of England8.87% 1.6West Midlands7.87% 1.3East Midlands7.87% 1.2North East4.03% 0.8Great Britain118.6 24.0Notes: Based on survey responses so subject to some sampling errorIncludes all trips by GB residents within the UK of one night or moreTotal does not sum due to some respondents not giving reasonSource: VisitBritain, GB Tourism Survey: 2018 Review, p2,Gov.Wales, Wales Tourism Performance Report: January to December 2018, 6 June 2019, p3& VisitScotland, Scotland’s Tourism Performance Summary Report 2018, May 2019, p2England accounted for 82% of overnight domestic visits in Great Britainin 2017, compared with 10% in Scotland and 8% in Wales.In 2018:Expenditure by domestic overnight tourists in Great Britain totalled 24.0 billion in 2018, up by 1.2% on 2017. 81% of all domestictourism expenditure occurs in England.Domestic touristsspent 24.0billionDomestic tourists in Great Britain outnumbered foreign visitors by overthree to one in 2017, but spent similar amounts: 23.0 billion byforeign visitors compared with 24.0 billion by domestic tourists.Foreign touristsspent 23.0billion
17 Tourism: statistics and policy5. Tourism and the UK economyBox 2: Calculating the economic impact of the tourism industryThe contribution of tourism to the economy is not straightforward to calculate. Severalindustries provide services to tourists, including the accommodation services industry, the foodand beverage services industry, and the museums and galleries industry. However, theseindustries might provide services to local people as well as tourists – for example, a countrypub or a museum may serve local people as well as tourists. In addition, some non-touristrelated industries provide services to tourists, such as parts of the retail industry.These issues are addressed by the ONS Tourism Intelligence Unit which disentangles the totalcontribution of tourism related industries from the direct contribution made by tourism. TheTourism Satellite Account (TSA) publishes estimates of economic output related to tourism onthis basis.5.1 Economic outputThe economic output of the tourist industries grew by less than 1%from 2015 to 2016. The UK economy as a whole grew by 4% over thisperiod. 10The economic output of the industries that make up the tourism sectorvary considerably. The following chart shows the economic output ofthese sectors.Economic output of the tourist industries, 2016 billions, direct gross value addedOther consumption products23Travel agencies and other reservationservices11Food and beverage serving activities10Accommodation services for visitors10Air passenger transport services5Cultural activities3Sport and recreation activities3Railway passenger transport services2Road passenger transport services1Transport equipment rental services0.4Water passenger transport services0.4Exhibitions and conferences etc.0.00510152025Source: ONS tourism satellite account, 2018The industry called ‘other consumption products’ includes all economicactivity due to tourism that occurs outside the traditional tourism10ONS, The UK Tourism Satellite Account (UK-TSA): 2016, 2018, see data tableTDGVA-2016. Economic output is direct Gross Value Added, which is similar to GDP.Total UK economic output is from the Annual Business SurveyIn 2016, theeconomic output ofthe tourism industryin the UK was 68 billion. This is6.0% of total UKeconomic output.
Number 06022, 24 September 2019 18industries. This includes car parking, costs associated with second homeownership, and the purchase by tourists of goods such as clothing.In 2016, the other consumption products category contributed the mostto tourism economic output – 23 billion. The travel agencies and otherreservations services category contributed 11 billion, the food andbeverage service industry contributed 10 billion, the same as theaccommodation services industry.5.2 EmploymentIn 2016, the number of people directly employed in tourism in the UKwas 1.5 million, which was 5.0% of all employment in the UK. 11Between 2015 and 2016, the number of people directly employed intourism fell by 66,000 or 4.1%.The following chart shows dire
5. Tourism and the UK economy 17 5.1 Economic output 17 5.2 Employment 18 5.3 International comparisons of tourism employment 19 6. Brexit and tourism 20 6.1 Opportunities 20 6.2 Challenges 21 7. Tourism policy 23 7.1 Tourism Sector Deal 23 8. The ‘tourism landscape’ in England 26 VisitEngland and VisitBritain 26File Size: 492KB
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