We analysed the most recent available data from the ONS to get some insight into the travel industry, as it stands today. Read on to see how many holidays people in the UK take, where they’re going, and how much they spend while they’re there. Don’t miss our handy travel guide to find the best holiday deals for you and your family along the way.
The latest facts and figures
In 2018, the average UK resident was abroad for a total of 9.8 nights, and spent £616 while there. In total, 71.7 million trips were taken, amounting to £45.4 billion spent abroad by tourists from the UK.
spent abroad by the average UK resident in 2018
spent in total by tourists from the UK in 2018, 1% more than in 2017.
What are the UK’s top travel destinations?
Spain tops the list, with 15.62 million visitors from the UK in 2018. France is second, with 8.56 million. Italy is next with almost half that number, at 4.33 million visitors. The full top ten list can be seen below.
Travel trends of the UK
Generally speaking, this country’s residents are taking more holidays, and spending more of their hard-earned pounds while away.
The yearly number of trips abroad fell slightly in 2018
In 2018, UK residents took 71.7 million trips overseas in total. That was an 1% increase from 2017, or 1.1 million less visits. The number of trips had been steadily increasing for years, having gone up by 29% (or 16.2 million trips) from 2012 to 2017, as can be seen in our chart below. The average length of trips has also decreased to 9.8 nights, from 10.4 in 2018. Despite both the number of trips falling and the length of trips decreasing, the total amount spent by Brits has increased in 2018, by 1%.
The average spending per trip abroad (in pounds) is increasing
Despite Brits taking less trips abroad in 2018 than in 2017, the total amount spend increased by 1%, to £45.4 billion. This means the average spend per trip was £633, £17 more than in 2017 and £15 more than in 2016.
The UK’s favourite destinations have remained largely unchanged since 2012, Spain remains the UK’s most popular tourist destination but the number of visits did fall by 2% from 2017, the first time this number has fallen since 2009. Among the top 10 most visited countries Poland experienced the biggest change from 2017 to 2018, with the number of visits falling by 7%. Explore the tables below for more information.
Georgia-Rose is a publisher at Finder.com and specialises in all things shopping and travel. She has years of experience working in retail and tourism and as an avid budget traveller, she loves helping people find the best deals on everything from plane tickets to sunglasses.
When she's not jetting off somewhere new you'll find her watching cake videos or befriending stray cats.
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