Business travel statistics

Learn about the UK’s business trips.

Modern devices, despite the reach they grant us, could never replace the intimacy of a face-to-face meeting. For this reason, businesspeople jet off every day to scope out potential growth opportunities for their companies.
Being a business centre, the UK is no stranger to international business travellers. In 2018, there were 6.6 million business trips taken to the UK and 8 million taken from the UK. This shows that there is a high influx of international business travellers travelling to the UK. If you travel for work, find out how business travel insurance can offer you high cover while working abroad.

Quick facts

    In 2018…
  • The average length of a business trip from the UK abroad was 5.8 days.
  • Spending on business trips to Europe was £2.5 billion compared to £8.9 billion spent on trips to North America.
  • Spending on business trips abroad was £4.7 billion compared to £4.4 billion spent on domestic trips.

Inbound vs outbound business trips

There aren’t many trends in the number of inbound and outbound trips from one month to the next. That being said, each month, the number of trips taken out of the UK is greater than the number of trips taken to the UK.

Month Outbound trip Inbound trips
Jan 18 630,000 480,000
Feb 18 690,000 530,000
Mar 18 820,000 640,000
Apr 18 770,000 530,000
May 18 730,000 510,000
Jun 18 650,000 650,000
Jul 18 700,000 560,000
Aug 18 610,000 350,000
Sep 18 770,000 620,000
Oct 18 760,000 740,000
Nov 18 800,000 580,000
Dec 18 580,000 400,000
The average number of outbound business trips is 710,000 per month compared to an average of 550,000 inbound trips per month. The greatest difference in the number of inbound and outbound trips was in August 2018 when there were 260,000 more outbound trips than there were inbound trips.

Which countries are inbound business travellers coming from?

Country Number of visits
Poland 830,000
Germany 800,000
France 740,000
Netherlands 570,000
Republic of Ireland 540,000
Romania 490,000
Spain 400,000
Italy 350,000
Belgium 240,000
Hungary 180,000
Switzerland 180,000
Sweden 160,000
Norway 150,000
Czech Republic 140,000

Each of the top countries from which businesspeople are travelling from are European. Of these countries, most inbound business travellers are coming from Poland. The 830,000 travellers from Poland are closely followed by 800,000 German travellers and 740,000 French travellers.

Domestic business trips

Over time, the spend per night and per trip on domestic business trips has increased.

Year Trip length Spend per night Spend per trip
2014 2.16 days £109 £235
2015 2.13 days £110 £234
2016 2.28 days £109 £249
2017 2.35 days £110 £259
2018 2.18 days £123 £267
2019 2.28 days £136 £309
The year with the highest average per-night spend was 2019, with an average of £136 spent per night. The same year saw the highest average overall domestic business trip spend, with an average of £309 spent overall per business trip.

The greatest increase in the average per-night spend on domestic business trips was 12% between 2017 and 2018. The greatest increase in the average per-trip spend was 16% between 2018 and 2019.

According to these stats, the average trip length was the greatest in 2017. In this year, trips averaged almost 2-and-a-half (2.35) days

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806

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