The Office for National Statistics has published the following data in relation to inbound visits to the UK during 2019. This data was collected through the International Passenger Survey. There were 40.9 million visits to the UK in 2019, 1% up on visits in 2018, but 1% fewer than in the record-holder 2017. Those inbound visitors spent £28.4 billion in 2019, up 7% on inbound spending in 2018, setting a new record for inbound spending. In total, they spent 289.6 million nights in the UK in 2019, 1% down on the number of nights spent in 2018.
VisitBritain Annual Inbound Tourism Forecast: VisitBritain’s central scenario forecast for inbound tourism to the UK in 2020, as of 3 December 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. The forecast assumes by the end of 2020 most European and non-European visitors are still likely to still face restrictions on arrival to the UK and/or restrictions leaving from or returning to their home country. This central scenario is merely one possible outturn and involves several assumptions and simplifications due to the fast-moving and uncertain situation.