The provisional International Passenger Data for October 2018 has been released, showing slight upturns in visit numbers and spend. Visits from European markets continued to see a decline, with the largest growth coming from North America. While there are some positive indications for October 2018, longer term figures continue to show a pattern of decline compared to 2017.
- The UK welcomed 3.3 million overseas visits in October, a 4% increase on the previous year. This is the first time that 2018 monthly results have been up on the same month in 2017.
- In the 3-month period to October 10.2 million visits were made, on par with the same period in 2017.
- However, year-to-date results are tracking 4% behind 2017, while visits in the rolling 12-months to October 2018 are tracking 5% behind.
- Visitor spend in October 2018 was up 3% on the previous year to reach £2 billion.
- However from August to October 2018 inbound visitor spending dropped 9% compared to the same period in 2017, totalling £6.7 billion.
- Year-to-date spending, as well as spending during the 12-months to October 2018 were both down 8% compared to the same periods in 2017.
- Holiday visits were up 8% to reach a record 1.2 million in October 2018, and visits in the 3 months to October also 3% up compared with the same periods in 2017. However, holiday visits between January and October 2018 are tracking 4% behind the previous year, and results for the rolling 12-month period to October 2018 are 5% down on the previous 12 months.
- VFR (visiting friends and relatives) visits also set a new October record at 1.1 million. However looking at the 3-month period to October 2017 VFR numbers are down 6% compared to the same period in 2017, and 2% down year-on-year for both the year-to-date and for the rolling 12-month period to October 2018.
- Business visits fell by 7% compared to October 2017 after two months of year-on-year growth. As a result business visits between August and October 2018 were up 4% on the same period in 2017, but are 4% down when comparing the longer term year-to-date figures and the rolling 12-month period to October 2018.
- Miscellaneous journeys (a wide range of journey purposes including – but not limited to – short term study, job seeking, shopping, attending a sports event and more) were up 12% in October 2018 compared to the previous year. This follows a trend of decline in miscellaneous journeys, with numbers down 2% in the 3 months to October 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, and down 16% and 15% respectively when comparing the year-to-date figures and the rolling 12-month figures to the same periods in 2017.
- Visits from EU15 Markets increased by 2% to 1.7 million, while visits from Other EU Markets grew 3% to 410,000. However longer term figures show that visits from these markets are both down 1% in the 3 months to October 2018 compared to the same period the previous year, and are down 5% when comparing year-to-date figures. Visits from EU15 Markets were also down 5% in the rolling 12-month period to October 2018 while visits from Other EU Markets were down 6% during this period compared to previous 12 months.
- Visits from the Rest of Europe fell 3% compared to October 2017 to reach 260,000, and between August and October 2018 declined 4% compared to the same period in 2017. Year-to-date figures for this market are down 13% compared to the same period in 2017, while the rolling 12 months to October 2018 saw a 9% decline compared to the previous 12 months.
- Visits from the Rest of the World saw a 5% drop at 490,000. This follows a steady pattern of decline from this market over the longer term, which has seen a 6% year-on-year decrease between August and October 2018, and a 5% decrease for both the year-to-date figures and rolling 12 month figures.
- Visits from North America saw the biggest growth at 33% to reach 470,000. Visits from this market between August and October 2018 were up 16% on the same period in 2017, while year-to-date results and for the rolling 12 months to October are both tracking 2% higher than the previous year.
The full report for October 2018 can be downloaded at the link below. For IPS data covering Q3 2018, please click here.