Tourism in the United Kingdom

Top 10 countries whose residents provided the most visits to the UK (2014)[1]
France France4.11 million
Germany Germany3.22 million
United States United States2.98 million
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland2.49 million
Spain Spain2.01 million
Netherlands Netherlands1.97 million
Italy Italy1.76 million
Poland Poland1.49 million
Belgium Belgium1.12 million
Australia Australia1.06 million
Top 10 countries with holiday stated as purpose of visit (excluding visits to friends and relatives, business and study visits) (2014)[2]
France France1,980,000
Germany Germany1,460,000
United States United States1,280,000
Italy Italy889,577
Netherlands Netherlands734,480
Spain Spain728,117
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland589,000
Belgium Belgium565,207
Australia Australia478,616
Sweden Sweden437,340

The United Kingdom is the world's 8th biggest tourist destination, with 36.115 million visiting in 2015. US$22.072 billion was spent in the UK by foreign tourists. VisitBritain data shows that the U.S. remains the most-valuable inbound market, with American visitors spending £2.1 billion in 2010.[3] Nevertheless, the number of travellers originating from Europe is larger than those travelling from North America - 21.5 million compared to 3.5 million American/Canadian visitors.[4]

The country's principal tourist destinations are in London, with the Tower of London being the single most visited attraction in the country.[5]

Domestic tourism

Domestic tourism remains the biggest component of tourist spending in the UK, with 2008 expenditures totalling £21,881 million, according to VisitBritain.[6] The national statistical agency also estimates that there were 126 million trips made in 2009.[6] The busiest period for domestic travel in the UK is during bank holidays and the summer months, with August being the busiest. There is a longstanding history in the UK of travel to coastal resorts such as Blackpool, Lancashire and Swansea, Wales, with many families staying at accommodation called holiday camps. This tradition has faded significantly due to competition from overseas package holiday operators, rising operational costs, and rapidly changing demand which forced many holiday camps to close in the 1980s and 1990s.

See also

For more information on tourism in the United Kingdom please see the articles for the constituent parts of the UK:


  1. "Who visits the UK? Travel trends from 2004-2014". Office for National Statistics. 2015. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  2. "Fears US Debt Crisis Will Hit UK Tourism". Sky News. 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  3. "Office for National Statistics - Overseas residents' visits to the UK". Office for National Statistics. 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
  4. "Visits Made in 2009 to Visitor Attractions in Membership with ALVA". Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  5. 1 2 UK Tourist 2009, VisitBritain, June 2011
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for United Kingdom.
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