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 2019, the average UK resident was abroad for a total of 9.8 nights, and spent £661 while there. In total, 72.6 million trips were taken, amounting to £48 billion spent abroad by tourists from the UK.
spent abroad by the average UK resident in 2019
spent in total by tourists from the UK in 2019, 6% more than in 2018.
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 rose slightly in 2019
In 2019, UK residents took 72.6 million trips overseas in total. That was an 1% increase from 2018, or 1 million more 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. While the length of trips decreasing, the number of trips is increasing and as a consequence the total amount spent by Brits has also increased in 2019, by 8%.
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.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.