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.
2022 forecast (last updated November 29 2021): The current forecast for inbound tourism to the UK in 2022 is 24.0 million inbound visitors, spending £19.2 billion. These are 59% and 67% respectively of the visits and spend levels seen in 2019.
Visits from Europe are forecast to recover a little quicker than long haul in the aggregate, although there will be significant variation within long haul markets in particular; strong booking numbers have been seen recently from some long haul regions (e.g. North America) while some other regions will lag. It is expected that spend per visit will remain higher than the pre-pandemic norm, due to longer average length of stay as well as higher prices.
This forecast was run just before the Omicron COVID variant was discovered, but it is very likely that the 2022 forecast will be revised downwards more significantly in subsequent updates, dependent on the progression and severity of the new variant.
VisitBritain will revise this forecast a number of times during 2022. Further details can be found here.
Our lobbying activity currently focuses on the following key policies and issues: