Tourism: statistics and policy

Published 27 May 2015

Visitors to and from the UK, domestic tourism, the impact of the 2012 Olympic Games, the contribution of tourism to the UK economy and the Government’s tourism policy.

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This note includes statistics on inbound and outbound visitors to and from the UK, domestic tourism in the UK, the impact of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on tourism, the contribution of tourism to the UK economy and the Government’s tourism policy.

Inbound and outbound visitors to the UK

Visitor numbers:

  • There were 34.8 million inbound visits to the UK in 2014. London was the most popular destination in the UK, attracting 51% of all visits.
  • There were 60.1 million outbound visits from the UK. Spain was the most popular destination for UK tourists, attracting 20% of all visits.

In 2012 471,000 people came to the UK for an Olympic and Paralympic related reason.

There were 122.9 million domestic overnight trips made in Great Britain in 2013, 83% of which were in England.

Economic impact:

• The tourism industry contributed £56 billion in economic output

• Tourism related industries employed 2.8 million people, 9% of all employment

Policy

The Government published its tourism strategy in March 2011 which announced three aims:

• To co-fund (with the private sector) a £100m marketing campaign to encourage foreign visitors to the UK, building on publicity from international events such as the Royal Wedding and the Olympic Games.

• To increase the proportion of UK residents who holiday in the UK; and

• To increase the sector’s productivity.

Commons Briefing papers SN06022

Author: Chris Rhodes

Topics: Industry, Tourism

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