Tourism in the United Kingdom

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Top 10 countries whose residents (including British and other nationals) provided the most visits to the UK (2018)[1]
Country Number
United States United States 3.87 million
France France 3.69 million
Germany Germany 3.26 million
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland 2.78 million
Spain Spain 2.53 million
Netherlands Netherlands 1.95 million
Poland Poland 1.82 million
Italy Italy 1.81 million
Belgium Belgium 1.12 million
Australia Australia 1.00 million

The United Kingdom is the world's 10th biggest tourist destination, with over 36 million visiting in 2018. US$31.93 billion was spent in the UK by foreign tourists in 2017. VisitBritain data shows that the USA remains the most valuable inbound market, with American visitors spending £2.1 billion in 2010.[2] Nevertheless, the number of travellers originating from Europe is much larger than those travelling from North America: 21.5 million compared to 3.5 million American/Canadian visitors.[3] After a 7-year rise, tourism to the United Kingdom declined sharply from 2017 to 2018.[4]

The country's principal tourist destinations are London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, York, and Canterbury.[5][circular reference]

Domestic tourism[edit]

Domestic tourism remains the biggest component of tourist spending in the UK, with 2008 expenditures totalling £21.9 billion, 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.

See also[edit]

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


  1. ^ Leading inbound travel markets for the United Kingdom (UK) in 2017 and 2018, ranked by number of visits (in 1,000s)
  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. ^ Number of overseas resident visits to the United Kingdom (UK) from 2002 to 2018 (in millions)
  5. ^ World Tourism rankings
  6. ^ a b UK Tourist 2009 Archived 2015-02-17 at the Wayback Machine, VisitBritain, June 2011

External links[edit]