Domestic forecast for Britain updated 7 May

28, May 2021

VisitBritain has run a new domestic tourism forecast, which represents a snapshot in time and makes a number of assumptions to provide an estimate of impact.  It forecasts £13.5bn in domestic overnight tourism spending – 38% growth on 2020 but only 55% of the 2019 level.  The national tourism organisation stresses that subsequent developments could change the outlook, which is as follows:

The forecast models each of the four journey purposes for overnight tourism (holidays, business, visiting friends and relatives and miscellaneous journeys), and 17 categories of spending for leisure day trips, separately.

2020: as there is no official domestic tourism data for 2020 yet, we have forecast estimates for domestic tourism spending in 2020. We have forecast £34.0 billion in domestic tourism spending in 2020, down 63% compared to 2019 when spending by domestic tourists in Britain was £91.6bn. This comprises £9.8bn from overnight tourism, down from £24.7bn in 2019, and £24.2bn from day trips, down from £67.0bn in 2019. In total, this represents a loss of £57.6bn (£14.9bn from overnights and £42.7bn from leisure day trips). The 2020 forecast is for a decline of 60% for overnights and 64% for leisure day trips, although with different patterns throughout the year and by journey purpose.

2021 forecast: our central scenario forecast is for a recovery to £51.4bn in domestic tourism spending in Britain in 2021; this is up 51% compared to 2020 but still only 56% of the level of spending seen in 2019. This is a downgrade from our previous forecast run at the end of 2020. We are forecasting £13.5bn in domestic overnight tourism spending (38% growth on 2020 but 55% of the 2019 level) and £38.6bn in leisure day trip spending (59% growth on 2020 and 58% of the 2019 level).

You can read the full release here.

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