The International Passenger Survey run by the Office for National Statistics in the UK was halted in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The International Passenger Survey restarted in 2021 in a limited way at a reduced number of departure points. Results for the whole of 2021 show the massive impact of the pandemic on UK inbound tourism with visits down by 85% and visitor spend down by 80%.
VisitBritain Annual Inbound Tourism Forecast
Due to the Omicron variant impacting on the visitor recovery in January, forecasts for 2022 have recently been downgraded to 21.1 million visits and £16.9 billion visitor spend, which are 52% and 59% respectively of the levels seen in 2019. After the initial poor start to the year, bookings have been increasing from late February and this trend is expected to continue throughout the remainder of 2022. Full recovery in inbound visits to the UK is not expected for a few years.