Inbound and outbound sea tourism trends

09 Jun 2016

Our news item in May 2016 highlighted the growth in inbound and outbound UK tourism in recent years with inbound growth in 2015 of 5.1% to reach 31.6 m overseas resident visits and outbound growth of 9.4% to 65.7m visits of UK residents going abroad.

A closer look at the International Passenger Survey (IPS) statistics shows that inbound tourism by sea increased by 288K visits while outbound tourism by sea in 2015 declined by 237K visits.  44% of sea tourism was inbound in 2015. If the trend continues it will not take long for inbound sea tourism to overtake outbound sea tourism.

In the first four months of 2016 the number of people taking a ferry to France, Spain or the Channel Islands increased by 6.5% to 639,000 trips. In the next month or so the first quarter 2016 results of the IPS should reveal if the growth is being driven by inbound or outbound sea tourism demand. The Western Channel has a higher percentage of outbound sea tourism than the Short Sea or North Sea sectors.

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IRN Team