Record number of visits to UK in 2004
Visits to and from the UK
In 2004 overseas residents made a record 27.8 million visits to the UK and spent a record £13 billion. Taking inflation into account spending by overseas residents increased by 13 per cent between 1984 and 2004, and 7 per cent between 2003 and 2004.
The number of visits to the UK doubled between 1984 and 2004, with levels exceeding the previous high in 1998. Between 2003 and 2004 there was a 16 per cent increase in the number of holiday visits to the UK by overseas residents. This followed a decline of 18 per cent between 2000 and 2001, and only small recoveries in each of the following two years.
Residents of the USA made the largest number of visits to the UK – 3.6 million in 2004. French residents made 3.3 million visits, followed by residents of Germany (3.0 million visits), Ireland (2.6 million) and the Netherlands (1.6 million).
The number of visits abroad made by UK residents has almost tripled since 1984, to a record 64.2 million visits in 2004. Two-thirds of these visits abroad were holidays, just under half of which were package holidays. Although the number of holidays overall has continued to increase year-on-year, there has been little change in the number of package holidays in the last five years.
Europe remained the most popular destination for UK residents, accounting for over 80 per cent of visits abroad. Spain continued to be the most popular country to visit, with 13.8 million visits in 2004. France was second in popularity, with 11.6 million visits. The number of visits by UK residents to the USA increased by 15 per cent in 2004 to 4.2 million, although this was still 4 per cent lower than the number in 2000.
Spending on visits abroad by UK residents increased to a record £30.3 billion, a fourfold increase between 1984 and 2004 in real terms, and a 10 per cent increase between 2003 and 2004.
Notes: Statistics from International Passenger Survey were published in Travel Trends on 24 November 2005.