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2010 Travel Statis by Office for National Statistics

There was a small percentage rise in the seasonally adjusted number of visits to and from the UK in the three months July to September 2010 compared with the previous three months. The seasonally adjusted number of visits to the UK by overseas residents rose by 1 per cent, while visits abroad by UK residents rose 3 per cent.

Despite the recent rise, visits are depressed longer-term. In particular, those abroad by UK residents which were down 9 per cent (as measured in non- seasonally adjusted terms) in the 12-month period ending September 2010 compared with a year earlier. Visits to Europe and North America are down by a larger percentage than those to other parts of the world.

Non-seasonally adjusted visits to the UK by overseas residents were down 1 per cent in the 12-month period to September 2010 compared with a year earlier. The fall was most marked for the purpose of ‘to visit friends or relatives’, whereas visits for the purpose of holiday and business both rose by a small percentage.

Three-month trends (seasonally adjusted)

In July 2010 to September 2010, the seasonally adjusted number of visits by overseas residents to the UK increased by 1 per cent to 7.4 million, when compared with the previous three months. Associated spending by overseas residents on visits to the UK decreased by 3 per cent to £4.1 billion.

Over the same period, the seasonally adjusted number of visits abroad by UK residents increased by 3 per cent to 14.1 million, while associated spending increased by 1 per cent to £7.9 billion.

Twelve-month trends (not seasonally adjusted)

Visits to the UK by overseas residents
During the 12 months to September 2010, the number of visits by overseas residents to the UK decreased by 1 per cent when compared with the 12 months to September 2009, from 29.9 million to 29.4 million – a drop of 0.5 million.

Visits to the UK by residents of:

  • Europe decreased by 1 per cent, from 22.1 million to 21.9 million
  • North America decreased by 5 per cent, from 3.5 million to 3.3 million
  • other parts of the world decreased by 1 per cent to 4.2 million

Visits for business reasons increased 1 per cent and holiday visits increased 2 per cent while visits to friends or relatives fell 6 per cent.

Visits abroad by UK residents
In the 12-month period to September 2010, the number of visits abroad by UK residents decreased by 9 per cent when compared with the 12 months to September 2009, from 60.7 to 55.2 million – a drop of 5.5 million.

Visits by UK residents to:

  • Europe decreased by 10 per cent, from 47.7 million to 42.9 million
  • North America decreased by 12 per cent, from 3.8 million to 3.4 million
  • other parts of the world decreased by 2 per cent, from 9.1 million to 8.9 million

Visits for business reasons fell 11 per cent and for holidays 9 per cent. Visits to friends or relatives dropped 8 per cent.

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