our advocacy work
In 2019, the UK welcomed 40.9 million visits from international tourists, who contributed £28.4 billion to the economy. This makes our inbound tourism industry the UK’s 3rd largest service export industry and 5th largest export earner, employing over three million people.
UKinbound works closely with tourism businesses and we fully support the activity of our national tourist boards – VisitBritain, VisitScotland, Visit Wales and Discover Northern Ireland – in promoting the UK to overseas markets which is critical in driving consumer demand.
We also collaborate with industry bodies such as the Tourism Alliance and the Save Future Travel Coalition to lobby Government to remove barriers to growth and help lead the way to a new #GlobalBritain.
VisitBritain 2020 & 2021 Forecast (last updated January 28th 2021)
2020 forecast: The current forecast for inbound tourism to the UK in 2020 is for a decline of 76% in visits to 9.7 million and a decline of 80% in spending to £5.7 billion. This would represent a loss vs the pre-COVID forecast of 32.3 million visits and £24.7 billion spending.
2021 forecast: The forecast for inbound tourism to the UK in 2021 is for 11.7 million visits, up 21% on 2020 but only 29% of the 2019 level; and £6.6 billion in spending, up 16% on 2020 but only 23% of the 2019 level.
This forecast is based on several assumptions:
- Start of a recovery from May from some European markets
- European inbound markets are forecast to recover quicker than long haul markets
- Gradual recovery in the summer and autumn
- Forecast to be 9.3 million visits from Europe in 2021, spending £3.5 billion
- Forecast to be 2.5 million visitors from long haul markets, spending £3.1 billion
This progress is contingent on the progression of the vaccination rollouts and the level of COVID-19 cases and any new variants, both in the UK and key inbound markets.
Subsequent developments could change the outlook and VisitBritain will revise this forecast a number of times during 2021. Further details can be found here.
Our lobbying activity currently focuses on the following key policies and issues: