International tourist spending in the United Kingdom (UK) 2004-2020

International tourism expenditure is expected to fall in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global travel. Travel restrictions meant that fewer tourists visited the UK in 2020 than usual. Spending by overseas visitors was expected to drop to 10.6 million British pounds, down from over 28 million in the previous year.

Spending of international visitors to the United Kingdom (UK) from 2004 to 2020

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Release date

May 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

2004 to 2019

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

Estimates based on the International Passenger Survey (IPS). Interviews are conducted with passengers arriving and departing from the country and include visits for all purposes, including for vacation, business, study, visiting friends and family, and other leisure purposes.
** The 2020 data is a forecast as of June 3rd by Visit Britain, based on the IPS data and a central scenario. They add the following information regarding the methodology:
"(The) central scenario assumes that the quarantine period (which is for all international arrivals to the UK, except for those from the Republic of Ireland and for those in a short list of exemptions, to be required to self-isolate for 14 days) will last for a period of three weeks starting June 8th. The model therefore assumes international travel will resume from July although will be initially at a low level. Tourism numbers are forecast to gradually rise throughout the remainder of 2020 although are still very likely to be well below normal levels by the end of the year.

We stress that this central scenario is merely one possible outturn and involves several assumptions and simplifications due to the fast-moving and uncertain situation; it is therefore subject to revision as the situation develops. The model specifically assumes that there is no second wave of the virus, or if there is that it would not be severe enough to necessitate going back into lockdown/quarantine. Risks to the forecast are weighted to the downside."

The data for 2019 was produced using a new improved estimation method. Figures from 2009 to 2018 shown here have been revised according to the new method. The impact of the improved methodology can be viewed here.

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Statistics on "Travel and tourism in the United Kingdom (UK)"

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