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Composed of inbound, outbound, domestic tourism and day trips. Analysis of employment generated through tourism and its contribution to the economy are also available.

Publications

Overseas Travel and Tourism - Monthly Release
Department: Office for National Statistics
Monthly results on the number of overseas visitors to the UK, UK residents visits abroad, earnings from overseas visits, expenditure of UK residents going abroad.
Overseas Travel and Tourism - Quarterly Release
Department: Office for National Statistics
Quarterly results on the number of overseas visitors to the UK, UK residents visits abroad, earnings from overseas visits, expenditure of UK residents abroad.
Sub-National Tourism
Department: Office for National Statistics
Estimates of the economic value of tourism within UK regions, sub-regions and local areas.
Sustainable Tourism
Department: Office for National Statistics
This report is a review and appraisal of sustainable tourism indicators, from domestic perspective. an international and domestic perspective.
The Supply Side of Tourism
Department: Office for National Statistics
This report includes a national level analysis of Gross Value Added (GVA), turnover and employment in the tourism industries.
Tourism Employment Summaries
Department: Office for National Statistics
This release is part of a series of short articles about various aspects of employment in tourism characteristic industries in the UK.
Tourism Satellite Account
Department: Office for National Statistics
This release is part of a series of Tourism Satellite Accounts produced by ONS following international guidelines and methodology.
Travel Trends
Department: Office for National Statistics
Presents the annual estimates of overseas travel and tourism based on interviews conducted with passengers as they enter or leave the UK by the principal air, sea and tunnel routes.
Travel by Scottish residents
Department: Scottish Government
Journeys made by all members of the household (including children).
Travelpac
Department: Office for National Statistics
Travelpac consists of a series of data files derived from the International Passenger Survey (IPS), giving access to data in a form suitable for use by small businesess and students.

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Overview

There are two main types of tourism that impact the UK economy: international and domestic tourism.

International tourism looks at trends in overseas residents travelling to the UK, and UK residents travelling abroad. This is analysed by region/destination and visitor spend using the International Passenger Survey (IPS). Carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), data are used to compile travel accounts of the balance of payments, estimate the numbers and characteristics of migrants into and out of the UK, and to provide information on international tourism.

Domestic tourism measures the volume and value of tourism trips within the UK by UK residents. The UK Tourism Survey (UKTS) measures all tourism trips with at least one night spent away from home, and it is used to collect details of the trips taken and of the people taking them. It is carried out by a commercial firm on behalf of Visit Britain, which funds it in partnership with Visit Scotland, Visit Wales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Another important component of domestic tourism is day trips. In 2005 they accounted for over half of all tourism expenditure. The Leisure Day Visits Survey was coordinated by Natural England and it includes day trips taken in England by respondents living in England.?

The impact of tourism on UK employment is measured by using employees data from the Workforce Jobs Survey and self-employed data from the Labour Force Survey. A table of tourism employment is published on the ONSí»s Annual Abstract.

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Technical Data

The International Passenger Survey

The International Passenger Survey (IPS) is a continuous survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the results of which are used by a number of government departments. The results are based on face-to-face interviews with a random sample of passengers as they enter or leave the UK by the principal air, sea and tunnel routes.

The main aims of the IPS are to:

  • collect data in order to measure travel expenditure and how it impacts on the UK balance of payments (on the travel account)

  • provide detailed information about overseas visitors to the UK for tourism policy

  • provide data on international migration

  • collect travel information on passenger routes as an aid to aviation and shipping authorities

Methodology and coverage of the survey

Travellers passing through passport control are randomly selected for interview and all interviews are conducted on a voluntary and anonymous basis. Interviewing is carried out throughout the year.

Since the IPS began in 1961, its coverage has been extended so that it includes all the main air, sea and tunnel ports or routes into and out of the UK. The only routes excluded from the survey are sea routes to and from the Channel Islands, the land border with the Irish Republic, and cruise ships travelling to and from the UK.

About 90 per cent of passengers entering and leaving the UK are covered by the survey. The remainder are either passengers travelling at night, when interviewing is suspended, or on those routes too small in volume or too expensive to be covered.

The IPS data are weighted to produce national estimates of all international travellers to and from the UK on a quarterly basis. Although some monthly data from the IPS are also published, a single quarter is the minimum period over which most detailed analyses of the data can be made. Annual national estimates are created by combining the four quarters of the year together.

The calculation of the weights on the IPS takes into account its complex sample design and information provided from other sources on, among other things, the non-sampled routes and time periods. For example, estimates of spending by travellers to and from the Channel Islands are provided by the Economic Advisorí»s Office in Jersey, and the Central Statistical Office in the Irish Republic provides information on travellers crossing the land border with Northern Ireland.

Where to find the results

IPS results are published in:

  • A monthly First Release on Overseas Travel and Tourism?

  • A quarterly Transport, travel and tourism (MQ6)?

  • Travel Trends, the annual report published in the autumn following the end of the fieldwork

  • Travelpac, a series of data files derived from the IPS, giving access to data in a form suitable for use by all


For more detailed information on the collection of IPS data please refer to the appendixes of the annual publication, Travel Trends.

Technical information on other tourism surveys, UK Tourism Survey (UKTS) and England Leisure Day Visits Survey (LDVS), is also available.

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Glossary

  • Day trips (IPS only)

    Visits that do not involve an overnight stay. Day trips abroad made by UK residents as well as day trips to the UK made by overseas residents are included in the figures for visits and spending.

  • IPS

    International Passenger Survey. A survey of a random sample of passengers entering and leaving the UK by air, sea or the Channel Tunnel. Over a quarter of million face-to-face interviews are carried out each year with passengers entering and leaving the UK through the main airports, seaports and the Channel Tunnel.

  • LDVS

    Leisure Day Visit Survey. Conducted approximately every three years as a survey of day tourism, it measures Leisure Day Trips and Tourism Day trips in England (2005) and Great Britain (2002/03).

  • Length of stay (IPS only)

    For UK residents covers the time spent outside the UK, including the journey. For overseas residents it refers to the time spent within the UK.

  • Miscellaneous (IPS only)

    Visits for miscellaneous purposes include those for study, to attend sporting events, for shopping, health, religious or other purposes, together with visits for more than one purpose when no one purpose predominates (such as visits both on business and on holiday). Overseas visitors staying overnight in the UK between another destination are also included in the miscellaneous purposes category.

  • Overseas visitor (IPS only)

    A person who, being permanently resident in a country outside the UK, visits the UK for a period of less than 12 months. UK citizens resident overseas for 12 months or more coming home on leave are included in this category.

  • Spending (IPS only)

    Figures cover the same categories of traveller as the number of visits figures except that the figures for overseas residents additionally include the spending of same day transit passengers. Spending also includes foreign exchange earnings and expenditure due to travel relating to the Channel Islands. Spending excludes fares for travel to and from the UK. For any traveller on an inclusive tour, an estimate of the return fare is deducted from the total tour price.

  • UKTS

    United Kingdom Tourism Survey. Measures domestic tourism; travel within the UK by UK residents. It is carried out by a commercial firm on behalf of Visit Britain, which funds it in partnership with the devolved administrations. It is based on face-to-face consumer interviews. Tourism is measured in terms of volume (trips taken, nights away) and value (expenditure on trips).

  • Visits (IPS only)

    The figures relate to the number of visits, not the number of visitors. Those entering or leaving the United Kingdom more than once in the same period are counted on each visit. The count of visits relates to UK residents returning to this country and to overseas residents leaving it.

  • Visits abroad (IPS only)

    Visits for a period of less than 12 months by people permanently resident in the UK (who may be of foreign nationality).

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Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

Evidence and Analysis Unit

Email: evidence@culture.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7211 6200 (DCMS general enquiries)

For enquiries about UKTS, LDVS, Tourism employment: Evidence & Analysis Unit Department for Culture, Media and Sport 2-4 Cockspur Street London SW1Y 5DH

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