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What are you looking for, see things differently, welcome to britain.

Discover inventive new experiences and captivating stories in 2024, brought together with a dose of British flair. From exploring film settings and pioneering cultural spaces to countryside trails and relaxing wellness retreats, it’s all happening on our shores and you’re invited!

Join immersive exhibitions as the National Gallery celebrates a landmark anniversary or get a taste for chocolate as Birmingham’s Cadbury World also marks its 200th birthday. Venture off the beaten track for new coastal adventures, exploring new trails and walking routes, or take in sporting action as the world’s best compete in everything from athletics to the Premier League.

Whether it’s getting a feel for our vibrant cultural cities, embarking on a coastal adventure, or discovering locations made famous by film and TV, it’s time to experience Britain differently.

VisitBritain/Helena Bradbury

A woman stands looking out to a view in the rooftop pool at sunrise

Explore different

VisitBritain/Kieran Duncan

Glen Coe, Scotland

People standing on high point looking down at mountain view

Spilling the tea on GB

We’re spilling the tea on the hottest experiences – and it’s not just a good old brew that we’re mad about.

Cardiff, Wales

Two bikers racing on Cardiff Speedway

Key sporting moments in 2024

Grab your tickets, or a spot by a screen, and join the atmosphere of brilliant British sport.

VisitBritain/Simon Anderson/Royal Pavilion//Nutkhut and Dr Blighty

Royal Pavilion at dusk, lit up in a range of vivid colours

Day trips from London

Britain packs a punch when it comes to the eclectic range of destinations within close proximity to London.

VisitBritain/Daniel Struthers

Parc national de Sowdonia (Eryri), Pays de Galles

A man jumping across a stream whilst hiking

How to see Britain differently

From gastronomic adventures to eco-friendly stays, there’s always more to explore on Britain’s shores.

VisitBritain - The official tourism website of Great Britain

Providing you with inspirational activities and experiences, from those in the know.

Your guidance and information about travelling to Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Helping the travel industry showcase the best of Britain.

Cultural hotspots

An unmissable destination for travellers, London is a melting pot of history, culture and green spaces.

VisitBritain/Hazel Parreno

Picadilly Circus underground station

From palaces to cobbled alleys and even a dormant volcano, this city is a real show-stopper.

VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

A young couple taking a selfie of view over historic town

World-class football and a music scene that brought Oasis to centre stage – there’s lots to love about Manchester.

VisitBritain/Manchester Craft Beer Festival

DJ playing to groups of people at Manchester Craft Beer Festival, in Depot Mayfield, Manchester

A quirky seaside city filled with diverse cuisine, vintage shopping and adrenaline fuelled adventure.

VisitBritain/i360

Group of friends in climbing gear at the top of i360 pod overlooking the coastline in Brighton

From The Beatles to Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Liverpool is a UNESCO City of Music with seriously cool credentials.

Oh Me Oh My

Rooftop of Oh me oh my restaurant in Liverpool

Cool creative Bristol is a must-see for art, culture and action-packed adventure.

VisitBritain/Rod Edwards

Lit up hot air balloons and fireworks in the night sky

Step into a land of castles, world-renowned rugby and a whole host of myths and legends.

VisitBritain/Ben Selway

A gay couple enjoying the shopping facilities at Castle Arcade in Cardiff, Wales

Pushing the boundaries of art and culture, with a heart that beats through its people.

VisitBritain/Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Two men looking at installation of suspended head sculptures

An industrial hub with a vibrant, creative heart and a whole host of quirky adventures.

West Midlands Growth Company

Historical building, with a clock tower, beside a fountain

Newcastle upon Tyne

Linked by no fewer than seven bridges, it's one vibrant place to visit.

Rich Kenworthy

Newcastle, England

Mensen die fietsen en skateboarden op een pad langs rivier de Tyne bij Newcastle

A hotbed for shopping and the arts, you’ll find lots to explore in Leeds.

VisitBritain/Thomas Heaton

The Victorian formal gardens with statues and low hedges in front of Harewood House

Packed with lively pubs, an eclectic food scene and a myriad of immersive experiences.

Tourism Northern Ireland

The Titanic, Belfast

Discover annual events

James Bridle

A couple walking at the Isle of Wight Festival

Celebrate in Britain

Find out what’s happening across the nations with our round-up of annual events.

Planning a trip? We're here to help

Your trip to england is just around the corner.

Discover the land of Big Ben, Banksy and bangers and mash. From its bustling cities to its blooming beautiful gardens, it doesn’t disappoint.

Discover Great Britain’s northern reaches

Imagine a country where ancient castles guard mysterious lochs and emerald glens, and where the local spirit is as warm as the welcome.

Discover a land of adventure and mythical creatures

Delve into a world of dragons, renowned choirs, championship rugby, and some of the most spellbinding scenery Britain has to offer.

Your trip to Northern Ireland has never looked more magical

Get swept up in a world of ancient myths and modern-day legends, from the Giant’s Causeway and Game of Thrones to the vibrant buzz of Belfast.

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What are you looking for?

Destinations.

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Hot air baloons floating above the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol

Introduction

From our bustling cities and striking coastline to inspirational outdoor adventures, there are so many things to see and do in Britain and Northern Ireland.

England is renowned for its iconic landmarks, as well as historic castles, world-leading museums, diverse festivals and top-notch sport.

Getty Images/iStockphoto/Chunyip Wong

View to Buckingham Palace from the Mall showing union Jack flags

Explore Scotland’s stunning lakes, highlands, and wildlife-rich islands, as well as lively cities bursting with character.

VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

Marching band and light show projecting onto the castle

Wales sparkles with scenic beauty, rich history and adventure, from its magnificent castles and National Parks, to rolling hills, mountains and coastline.

VisitBritain/Nadir Khan

Woman standing on a rock, high above the lake in a valley

Northern Ireland

Discover World Heritage sites and Game of Thrones filming locations, dramatic coastlines, historic castles, and thrilling outdoor adventure in Northern Ireland.

VisitBritain/Ben Selway

Sunset over the red basalt column. Sea views

Discover world-leading museums and galleries, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and a city brimming with history and culture.

VisitBritain/Hazel Parreno

Picadilly Circus underground station

Explore Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, the world’s leading festival city and home to 10 international festivals.

Image Edinburgh

A young couple taking a selfie of view over historic town

Explore Wales’ capital city Cardiff, famed for its iconic rugby stadium, Victorian shopping arcades, and thriving food scene.

A gay couple, with arms linked, shopping indoors

Belfast is a vibrant cultural hub on Northern Ireland’s east coast, packed with lively pubs, a diverse food scene and proud industrial heritage.

Tourism Northern Ireland

The Titanic Belfast, a world famous museum which tells the story of the RMS Titanic

Famed for its Roman spa and Georgian architecture, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath has long been celebrated as a wellness and cultural retreat.

VisitBritain

Woman in the swimming pool, Thermae Bath Spa, Bath, Somerset, England.

Britain’s second largest city, Birmingham is an industrial hub with a vibrant, creative heart.

West Midlands Growth Company

Historical building, with a clock tower, beside a fountain

Brighton rocks as a seaside town with cool shops, diverse cuisine, and inclusive celebrations bursting with south coast Pride.

British Airways i360

Female yoga class taking place on the viewing platform of British Airways i360 Viewing Tower, Brighton, East Sussex, England

Bristol is a creative city with a rich maritime heritage, and home to legendary street artist Banksy.

VisitBritain/Rod Edwards

Bristol header image baloons

Lit up hot air balloons and fireworks in the night sky

The city of Cambridge is a hub for innovation and creativity, with a famous university dating back more than 800 years.

Shutterstock/Pajor Pawel

View of college in Cambridge with people punting on River

Explore Coventry, birthplace of 2-Tone Music, Britain’s motor industry, and Peaky Blinders filming locations.

Coventry image

Robot sculpture outside a building with geometric décor

Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, is full of character, with striking architecture, abundant green spaces, and a music scene as vibrant as its people.

VisitBritain/Tommy Ga-Ken Wan/Sophie Cave

Two men looking at installation of suspended head sculptures

The Lake District is Britain’s largest National Park at 912 square miles (2,362 square km) and is recognised by UNESCO for its beauty – its stunning lakes and mountains have inspired artists and writers for centuries.

Giles Rocholl/Visit Leeds

A view down a shopping street in Leeds' historic Victoria Quarter

Liverpool is a UNESCO City of Music with more museums and galleries than any city outside of London.

Oh Me Oh My

Rooftop of Oh me oh my restaurant in Liverpool

Home to Manchester United and music legends, Manchester is one of Britain’s most dynamic cities, with an industrial history matched by its modern-day appeal.

VisitBritain/Jacob Niblett

Group of friends walking by the canal in Castlefield

Nottingham 

Steeped in legends that surround Robin Hood to literary greats, discover what this city has to offer.

projecthoop

A performance in front of Nottingham Castle

Oxford is known as the 'City of Dreaming Spires', in honour of the architecture of Britain’s oldest university.

VisitBritain/Jess Barfield

Two boys playing on a path in front of a palace

Rich in history and royal traditions, Windsor is home to Britain’s largest inhabited castle and has been home to royalty for centuries.

Royal Collection Trust/© His Majesty King Charles III 2022

Windsor image

Guards marching, Windsor Castle

Newcastle-Gateshead

The city of Newcastle stands on the north bank of the River Tyne, connected to the neighbouring town of Gateshead by seven bridges.

VisitBritain/NGI/Michael Baister

Couple kayaking on a river under blue skies

York is a medieval walled city with Viking and Roman heritage, famed for its magnificent cathedral and abundance of museums.

VisitBritain/Sam Barker

Woman wearing trench coat and pink hat walking through narrow historic street of York, North Yorkshire, England.

Countryside

Peak district.

Home to some of Britain’s most dramatic scenery, the Peak District, east of Manchester, is a place of rolling hills and rugged moors, with picturesque market towns and adventure galore.

VisitBritain/Becky Stacey

Peak district image

A woman with her arms raised enjoying the view from high

Lake District

VisitBritain/John Finney

Hiker walking along a path on the mountain ridge at sunset

Brecon Beacons

From rolling valleys and sweeping peaks to dramatic waterfalls, the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog) National Park in South Wales is overflowing with natural wonders, culture and heritage.

Crowd at the Green Man Festival in front of the stage

South Downs

The South Downs in Southern England is Britain’s newest national park, bringing together ancient woodland, seven rivers, historic castles and spectacular coastal trails.

Two men on mountain bikes cycling at Devil's Dyke. Sunrise

Borders and Lowlands

The gateway into Scotland, the area packs the punch for outdoor adventure, with miles of cycling and hiking trails, paddleboarding and numerous golf courses.

VisitBritain/Simon Jarratt

Girls standing on the zipwire platform in the pine forest

North York Moors

The North York Moors National Park, in North Yorkshire, stretches from countryside to coast and is home open moorland, sandy beaches and harbour villages.

Chef wearing apron on pier holding lobster trap with lobster

Snowdonia (Eryri)

From its peaks and tumbling waterfalls, to charming villages and 200-miles of beautiful coastline, Snowdonia (Eryri) is Wales’ largest national park.

VisitBritain/Daniel Struthers

A man jumping across a stream whilst hiking

Northumberland

Northumberland features historic castles, coastal trails and spectacular scenery within its National Park.

VisitBritain/Chris Ceasar

View from a distance of a castle on hill near a beach

Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire National Park, on the western edge of Wales, covers an area of 240 square miles (621 square km) and is home to sandy beaches, wildlife-filled islands, and medieval castles.

National Trust/Greentraveller

Surfing image

Back view of two young boys in wetsuits sitting on a rock looking out to sea with blue sky

The New Forest National Park in Hampshire, southern England, is a region of forest, open countryside and coastline, famed for its free-roaming ponies.

Two people riding bicycles on a trail past a horse in the New Forest

This vast, untamed national park in the heart of the Scottish Highlands is home to impressive mountains and castles, ancient forests, rare wildlife, and exciting year-round activities.

VisitBritain/Graham Niven

A man canoeing with two spaniels. Clear blue skies

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is 30 miles (48km) from Glasgow and is an adventure haven, home to 720 square miles (1,865 square km) of mountains, forests and lakes.

VisitScotland

A woman sitting and looking out across Loch Lomond

Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales National Park covers 841 square miles (2,179 square km) of rolling hills, dramatic waterfalls, and is home to a spectacular network of 2,500 caves.

Image castle

Hugging the south-west, Devon is a playground for adventurers, explorers and food lovers.

Leon Woods / iStock/ Getty Images Plus

Devon image

Photograph of Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway in North Devon

Dartmoor and Exmoor

The two national parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor in south west England combine to offer dramatic coastline, untamed moors, spectacular wildlife and miles of trails to explore.

Dartmoor and Exmoor horse image

Horses and riders trotting through the shallow water.

Explore England’s south-eastern county, affectionately known as the 'Garden of England'.

VisitBritain/Dipyourtoesin

Man and woman walking between vines at a vineyard

Renowned for its glorious countryside, striking coastline and unique attractions.

VisitBritain/Adam Burton

White painted signpost on a clifftop at Lands End. White building

The Scottish Highlands

Located in the northern reaches of Scotland, the wild and awe-inspiring Scottish Highlands are all about scenic beauty and adventure.

Two mountain bikers cycling downhill down a mountain

The Broads National Park sits on the border between Suffolk and Norfolk, in the east of England.

Norfolk Broads Direct

Familydayboatfeedswans2, Norfolk Broads

Embracing five English counties, the lush rolling countryside, pretty stone villages, and rambling rivers of The Cotswolds offer a quintessential taste of Britain.

Male and female couple hugging in the garden near a fountain

North Wales

North Wales is brimming with UNESCO World Heritage sites, magnificent castles, stunning coastlines, rolling hills and adrenaline-fuelled adventure.

VisitBritain/Lee Beel

Harlech Castle standing on a grassy hilltop in North Wales. Blue skies and clouds

Wales Coast Path

The Wales Coast Path takes in 870 miles (1,400km) of beaches, clifftop hikes, wildlife-filled islands, and historic castles along the nation’s coastline.

North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 (NC500) is an epic scenic route around the North Highlands of Scotland.

North Highlands

visitscotland_41471252178

King Charles III England Coast Path

A coastal masterpiece, the King Charles III England Coast Path will be the world’s longest shore walk, spanning a remarkable 2,795 miles (4,500km) of beaches, cities and nature reserves.

South West Coast Path/Roy Curtis

A person on a footpath on the coastal path near sea

Jurassic Coast

At 200 million years old, the 96-mile (155km) stretch of south-west coastline known as the Jurassic Coast is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

People kayaking along the shores of coastline

Causeway Coast

Wild waters and mythical landscapes, this stretch of the Atlantic coastline is home to Northern Ireland’s UNESCO World Heritage site, the Giant’s Causeway, and the stunning 130-mile (212km) Causeway Coastal Route.

VisitBritain/Ben Selway/National Trust

Distant view of people crossing a rope bridge over the sea

Scottish Islands

The awe-inspiring Scottish Islands are full of character, with friendly communities and an abundance of wildlife.

VisitBritain/Dougie Cunningham

A group of deer near a lake, grazing grass

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Access resources for business events to support your business development and event strategy. Discover England, Scotland and Wales' business event offering for your next conference, incentive, exhibition or event.

Bell's Bridge and the SEC Armadillo by the river Clyde in Glasgow, at sunrise.

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Studying tourism at school, college or university? We’ve gathered essential resources and data for students of tourism, plus information about our internships.

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UK and Great Britain Tours & Trips

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250+ UK and Great Britain tour packages with 23,674 reviews

Essential Britain & Ireland Tour

  • In-depth Cultural
  • Coach / Bus

Essential Britain & Ireland

Jam packed days and evenings. I was able to use the time to explore every overnight stop on my own.

United Kingdom and Ireland ( 10 days ) Tour

  • Sightseeing
  • Christmas & New Year

United Kingdom and Ireland ( 10 days )

Best of UK & Ireland Tour

Best of UK & Ireland

Everyday was packed full of things to see and do. We were a little disappointed that they showed no highlights of the city of London.
  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

England, Scotland and Ireland end Dublin Tour

England, Scotland and Ireland end Dublin

The trip itself was wonderful and beautiful. Loved the bus driver in Ireland he was a better tour guide for me.

Britain and Ireland Delight (Summer, 8 Days) Tour

Britain and Ireland Delight (Summer, 8 Days)

I really enjoyed the trip

Grand Tour of Britain & Ireland Tour

Grand Tour of Britain & Ireland

Absolutely loved that I could enjoy this tour which provided great coverage of England, Wales,Ireland and Scotland.

Britain and Ireland Experience (12 Days) Tour

Britain and Ireland Experience (12 Days)

Excellent tour very well run by Greg. No hesitation in recommending the same to family and friends

Wonders of Britain and Ireland (12 Days) Tour

Wonders of Britain and Ireland (12 Days)

Empathetic to people's needs. He is very knowledgeable and made the tour a lot of fun.
  • €100 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Britain & Ireland Explorer (Classic, 13 Days) Tour

Britain & Ireland Explorer (Classic, 13 Days)

We had a great holiday and highly recommend insight tours. We had lovely hotels and a fantastic tour guide.

Best of Ireland and Scotland (15 Days) Tour

Best of Ireland and Scotland (15 Days)

Everything went smoothly.

Great Britain Tour

Great Britain

Great trip. Mile and Russell were also great.

The Best of Britain & Ireland Tour

The Best of Britain & Ireland

The tour was excellent, with extensive knowledge and a personable, organized approach.

Best of Ireland & Scotland (Classic, 14 Days) Tour

Best of Ireland & Scotland (Classic, 14 Days)

A wonderful way to see a lot of both Ireland and Scotland. Many great experiences!

5 Day Skye & Highland Fling Tour

5 Day Skye & Highland Fling

Such a great tour. Very active and on-the-go, so we were able to make the most of the time outdoors (instead of a bus). The tour itinerary has some flexibility and shuffling around which is great so you can dodge traffic, incidents. Travelling with young, like minded people. Shoutout to Branka for making this tour so fun, she knew all the best spots (avoiding people!), her enthusiasm and wealth of history knowledge. Highly recommend, 5 stars.

Highland Fling Tour

Highland Fling

The whole experience was amazing. Great value for money, going to places that you would never of known about or able to go to without the whole tour bus experience.
  • €75 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

What people love about UK And Great Britain Tours

Very nice itinerary ... jam packed days and evenings. I chose not to do any of the extra evening excursions that were offered so I was able to use the time to explore every overnight stop on my own. The tour guide was amazing... so full of knowledge about all the countries/areas we visited.
Far exceeded expectations. If you are looking for a leisurely trip - this is not it...but what it gives you is an amazing experience. I think I averaged about 14,000 steps, lots of early morning wake ups, but pure joy, fun and laughter. It was an amazing trip,
Guides were great and the tour was an excellent way to see lots of places in a short amount of time
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Great Britain

The clue's in the name. Great Britain packs so much greatness into its pint-sized shores: crumbling castles, soaring cathedrals, quaint villages, timeless landscapes and history galore.

Attractions

Must-see attractions.

The Long Walk, the pathway leading to Windsor Castle is 2 1/2 miles long.

Windsor Castle

Windsor & Eton

The world’s largest and oldest continuously occupied fortress, Windsor Castle is a majestic vision of battlements and towers. Used for state occasions, it…

Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey

The West End

A splendid mixture of architectural styles, Westminster Abbey is considered the finest example of Early English Gothic. It's not merely a beautiful place…

Looking up the hill at Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle has played a pivotal role in Scottish history, both as a royal residence – King Malcolm Canmore (r 1058–93) and Queen Margaret first made…

Tate Modern museum on the southern bank of the River Thames.

Tate Modern

One of London's most amazing attractions, Tate Modern is an outstanding modern- and contemporary-art gallery housed in the creatively revamped Bankside…

Steam rising off the hot  mineral water in the Great Bath, part of the Roman Baths in Bath, UK

Roman Baths

Welcome to one of Northern Europe's most significant Roman sites. Today more than a million visitors a year come to see its historic finds, atmospheric…

Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, England

Canterbury Cathedral

A rich repository of more than 1400 years of Christian history, Canterbury Cathedral is the Church of England’s mother ship, and a truly extraordinary…

London Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Kensington & Hyde Park

With its thunderous, animatronic dinosaur, riveting displays about planet earth, outstanding Darwin Centre and architecture straight from a Gothic fairy…

St. pauls cathedral with red double decker bus in London, United Kingdom

St Paul's Cathedral

Sir Christopher Wren’s 300-year-old architectural masterpiece is a London icon. Towering over diminutive Ludgate Hill in a superb position that's been a…

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Welsh Government

Domestic GB tourism statistics (overnight trips in Wales): April to December 2021 (revised)

Data on overnight trips and day visits by British residents to destinations throughout Britain for 2021.

This file may not be fully accessible.

In this page

Introduction.

This is a revised release of the main estimates for the volume and value of domestic overnight tourism trips taken by British residents in Wales and Great Britain in 2021. The statistics published in this release cover the period from the start of April to the end of December 2021. Data is not available for January to March 2021, due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions on travel during this period.

This release provides revised estimates for all reported measures including the estimates of the volume and value of overnight trips taken in Wales and Great Britain. Two separate revisions have been made to the survey data. The first revision is designed to manage the impact of individual reported trips that were identified as having a disproportionate impact on the overall estimates of trip volumes and expenditure.  The second revision involves a recalibration of the volume and value estimates for the period from April 2021 to April 2022, due to a change in survey questions implemented in May 2022. Analysis showed that the change led to a substantial and unexpected reduction in trip volumes reported from May 2022 onwards. The effect of these revisions has been to reduce the monthly and total estimates for trip volume and expenditure reported in this publication for the period from April 2021 to December 2021, to make them comparable with estimates reported from May 2022 onwards.  Where data in a table or chart has been revised, this is noted in the title of the table or chart.

Further information on these revisions is provided in the revised GBTS Background Quality Report 2021 .

This report includes estimates for the main purpose of overnight trips; holidays, visits to friends and relatives (VFR) and business trips, with the definitions for each of these provided in the relevant section of this report.

The report includes estimates and details of overnight trips taken in Wales, and in Great Britain for comparative purposes.  Detailed results for England and Scotland are being published by VisitEngland and VisitScotland .

These statistics are used to monitor domestic tourism demand and measure the contribution and impact of domestic tourism on the visitor economy. A key purpose of these statistics is to uncover insights into market trends over time.  Changes in survey methodology introduced in 2021, together with the interruption in data collection due to COVID-19, mean that results published in this release are not directly comparable with data published for 2019 and previous years. Please refer to the section on comparability and coherence .

The statistics are labelled as ‘experimental’ to enable testing and further modification to meet user needs. Further information on this is available on the Office for National Statistics website . We are keen to check that the new tourism statistics meet user needs and invite you to provide feedback on the information in this output at  [email protected] .

Main points

Wales trips.

  • Between April and December 2021, Great Britain (GB) residents took 6.21 million overnight trips in Wales with 22.67 million nights and £1,231 million spent during these trips.
  • 50% of overnight trips taken in Wales were holidays, 29% were visits to friends and relatives and 5% were for business purposes.
  • Approximately 7% of all GB trips included an overnight stay in Wales, whilst the share of total GB nights was also 7% and the share of spend lower at 6%.
  • There was a gradual increase in overnight trips taken in Wales from April 2021 onwards with a peak volume of 1.07 million trips taken in August.
  • The average duration of Wales trips during the reporting period was 3.7 nights with an average spend of £198 per trip.

Great Britain trips

  • Between April and December 2021, Great Britain residents took 86.2 million overnight trips in Great Britain with 302.6 million nights and £19.85 billion spent during these trips.
  • 38% of overnight trips taken in GB during this period were holidays, 37% were visits to friends and relatives (VFR) and 6% were for business purposes.
  • 85% of trips taken in GB included an overnight stay in England, 11% included an overnight stay in Scotland and 7% included an overnight stay in Wales.
  • There was a gradual increase in overnight trips taken in GB from April 2021 onwards with a peak volume of 14.3 million trips taken in September.
  • The average duration of GB trips during the reporting period was 3.5 nights with an average spend of £230 per trip.

Trips, nights and spend to GB nations, 2021

Source: Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS), April to December 2021

[Note 1] Percentages do not sum to 100% as some trips included visits to more than one nation.

In the period from the start of April to the end of December 2021, there were 86.2 million overnight trips taken in GB by British residents with a total of 302.6 million nights and a total expenditure of £19.85 billion. During the same period there were 6.21 million overnight trips taken in Wales with a total of 22.67 million nights and a total expenditure of £1.23 billion. Approximately 7% of all domestic overnight trips by British residents were taken in Wales, compared to 85% taken in England and 11% taken in Scotland. The share of total GB nights taken in Wales was 7%, but the share of spend was lower at 6% due to a lower average spend on trips taken in Wales.

[Note 1] Low base size for business trips to Wales, data should be treated with caution.

Figure 1: Proportion of trips, nights and spend in Wales by main purpose of trip (April to December 2021, revised) [Note 1]

Description of Figure 1: A stacked bar chart that shows holidays accounted for the majority of trips, nights and spending from GB residents who took trips to Wales.

[Note 1] Percentages for Wales nights do not sum to 100% due to a rounding issue.

Holiday trips made up the largest proportion of overnight trips taken in Wales between April to December 2021. This was followed by trips to visit friends and relatives (VFR). Business trips made up the lowest proportion of overnight trips to Wales and for GB as a whole. Trips for ‘miscellaneous’ purposes include a wide range of trips (see section on definitions ), but the largest volume of miscellaneous trips taken in Wales were those being taken overseas that included an overnight stay in Wales, trips for a personal event and trips for a public event. A higher proportion of trips taken in Wales between April and December 2021 were for holidays (50%), compared to GB as a whole (38%). Trips taken in GB were more likely to be for VFR (37%) compared to Wales (29%) and business trips taken in GB made up a higher proportion of total trips taken in GB (6%) compared to Wales (5%).

Characteristics of GB and Wales trips

The average number of nights per trip to Wales (3.7) was slightly higher than for GB as a whole (3.5) due to a higher proportion of holiday trips in Wales and a longer average length of holidays taken in Wales (4.2) compared to GB as a whole (3.9). The average length of VFR trips taken in Wales and GB were similar.

Despite the longer average trip lengths in Wales, the average expenditure on trips taken in Wales is lower than GB with an average spend per trip of £198 and an average spend per night of £54. There is a lower average spend on trips taken in Wales for all trip purposes. The average spend per night on overnight business trips (£61) and holidays (£58) in Wales is notably higher than visits to friends and relatives (£34).

Figure 2: Volume and proportion of trips taken in Great Britain and Wales by main location visited (April to December 2021, revised) [Note 1]

Description of Figure 2: A stacked column chart showing trips to large cities/large towns made up the largest proportion of GB trips, while in Wales there was a more even spread of trips to different types of location.

[Note 1] The numbers within the coloured segments are the number of trips taken to each main location in millions. For instance, from April to December 2021, there were 1.53 million tourism day trips to a countryside/village location taken in Wales.

There was an even spread of trips to different types of location across Wales. A much higher proportion of trips taken in Wales were to the seaside and coastal areas compared to GB as a whole. In contrast, a much lower proportion of trips to Wales were taken to large city and towns. This reflects the higher proportion of holiday trips taken in Wales, as well as more rural and coastal destinations in Wales.

Figure 3: Volume and proportion of trips and spend where a region of Wales is main place of visit (April to December 2021, revised) [Note 1] [Note 2]

Description of Figure 3: A stacked column chart showing that of the Welsh regions, North Wales received the most trips and the highest spending from GB residents.

[Note 1] Low base sizes for some regions – data should be treated with caution.

[Note 2] The numbers within the coloured segments are the number of trips taken in Wales in millions, and the amount spent on trips taken in Wales in millions of pounds, for each region of Wales. For instance, from April to December 2021, there were 1.26 million tourism day trips to South West Wales.

North Wales was the most visited region in 2021. It was the main destination for 29% of trips taken. This compares to South East Wales, the main destination for 24% of trips taken in Wales. South West Wales was the main destination for 20% of trips, and Mid Wales was the main destination for 11% of trips taken in Wales. The remaining trips in Wales were to various destinations where the main place visited was outside of Wales.

Figure 4: Volume and proportion of trips taken in Great Britain and Wales by main type of accommodation used (April to December 2021, revised) [Note 1]

Description of Figure 4: A stacked bar chart showing that serviced accommodation was the most commonly used type of accommodation for GB residents taking trips in GB and in Wales.

[Note 1] The numbers within the coloured segments are the number of trips taken in Wales and in Great Britain in millions, where a certain type of accommodation was used as the main type of accommodation. For instance, from April to December 2021, serviced accommodation was the main type of accommodation used on 2.04 million trips to Wales.

Trips to Wales in April to December 2021 were most likely to be in serviced accommodation or caravan/camping/glamping although a private home (including the home of friends/relatives and second homes) was used in a substantial number of trips. Compared to GB, visitors staying in Wales were more likely to stay in caravan and camping accommodation, but there was lower use of serviced accommodation and private homes.

Profile of visitors taking trips to Wales

[Note 1] Low base size for Scotland, data should be treated with caution.

GB residents living outside of Wales generated three quarters of all overnight trips taken in Wales, with residents of England generating the most trips and expenditure. Residents of Wales generated 1 in 4 trips taken in Wales in 2021.

Figure 5: Volume and proportion of trips taken in Great Britain and Wales by age group (April to December 2021, revised) [Note 1]

Description of Figure 5: A stacked column chart showing trip-takers aged 25-34 years were the largest age group of visitors to Wales, while among visitors to GB, those aged 55 or older were the largest age group of trip-takers.

[Note 1] The numbers within the coloured segments are the number of trips taken by each age group in millions. For instance, from April to December 2021, visitors aged 45 to 54 took 1.01 million trips to Wales.

Trips to Wales were spread across different age groups, but those in the age range 25 to 34 years old generated the highest volume of trips taken in Wales. Visitors from the age group 55 years or older made up a higher proportion of visitors to GB than to Wales. Wales visitors had a slightly larger average travel party size of 3.1 visitors compared to 2.8 visitors for GB, and 37% of trips taken in Wales included children in the travel party compared to 34% in GB as a whole.

Figure 6: Volume of trips in millions in Great Britain by month of visit (April to December 2021, revised)

Description of Figure 6: A column chart showing the volume of domestic trips taken in GB increased from April to September, decreased from September to November, and then increased again in December.

There was a gradual increase in domestic overnight trips taken in Great Britain from April 2021 onwards with trips peaking in September, which recorded the highest level of holiday trips. Trips were lower in October and November, but increased again in December, which recorded the highest monthly volume of visits to friends and relatives.

[Note 1] Low base sizes for April, May and November, data should be treated with caution.

There was a gradual increase in domestic overnight trips taken in Great Britain from April 2021 onwards with trips peaking in September, which recorded the highest level of holiday trips. Trips were lower in October and November but increased again in December which recorded the highest monthly volume of visits to friends and relatives.

Figure 7: Volume of trips to Wales in millions by month of visit (April to December 2021, revised)

Description of Figure 7: A column chart showing that the volume of domestic trips taken to Wales increased from April to August, decreased from August to November, and then increased again in December.

Similar to the pattern across GB, there was a gradual increase in domestic overnight trips taken in Wales from April onwards, but trips peaked in August, which recorded the highest monthly volume of holiday trips. Similar to GB as a whole, the volume of trips taken in Wales was lower in the October and November but increased in December, which recorded the highest monthly volume of visits to friends and relatives.

Quality and methodology information

Definitions.

To qualify as an eligible GB Domestic Overnight Trip the following criteria must be met:

  • The trip involved a stay of at least one night in one or more of the GB nations; England, Scotland or Wales.
  • The trip is not taken on a frequent basis (less often than once a week).
  • For GB Domestic Overnight Holiday Trips; the main purpose of the trip was for holiday, pleasure or leisure.
  • For GB Domestic Overnight VFR Trips; the main purpose of the trip was for visiting friends and relatives, including VFR trips that were combined with a holiday.
  • For GB Domestic Overnight Business Trips; the main purpose of the trip was for business.
  • For GB Domestic Overnight Miscellaneous/Other Trips; the main purpose of the trip was for another type of trip taken not covered by the above classifications including personal events, public events, or for study, medical, religious purposes, or any overnight stay in GB as part of an overseas trip.

Other definitions used in this publication

An estimate of what the grossed-up number of overnight trips undertaken by the population would be if the survey sample is representative of the whole GB population. The reported volume of trips is an estimate of trips by individuals, so that a travel party of two people would count as two individual trips.

An estimate of what the total expenditure relating to the volume of overnight visits undertaken by the population would be if the survey sample is representative of the whole GB population.

An estimate of what the grossed-up number of nights spent on overnight trips undertaken by the population would be if the survey sample is representative of the whole GB population.

These definitions and the associated qualifying criteria have been revised as part of the new combined GBTS/GBDVS survey to align with agreed international standards. These changes impact the comparability of the published domestic overnight tourism estimates for 2021 with 2019 and previous years.

Methodology

In 2019, Visit Wales, VisitScotland and VisitEngland, undertook a review of the requirements and methods for producing the official GB domestic tourist statistics, to future-proof the data collection methods, whilst maintaining the reliability and robustness of the information reported.  As a result, substantial changes were introduced as part of a new combined online survey collecting data on both domestic overnight trips as well as domestic day trips. This represents a fundamental change in the way data is collected for overnight visits including moving from the previous in-home face to face survey method to a new combined online survey covering both domestic overnight trips and day trips.

The sample for the new combined online survey is a non-probability-based design sourced from 4 ESOMAR accredited online panel providers and includes quotas for key demographic variables to make the overall sample as representative as possible of GB population. The target annual sample size for the survey of overnight visitors is 60,000 completed interviews. Fieldwork for the new survey started in England and Wales in April 2021 and the number of interviews achieved for the period April to December 2021 is 47,008 interviews for GB residents including 6,840 interviews with Welsh residents. Not every person who is interviewed will have taken an eligible overnight trip and so the base sizes used for trip estimation are lower than the number of interviews. Base sizes are published in the GBTS Background Quality Report 2021 .

As part of the survey changes, a revised weighting scheme has been introduced to improve efficiency, whilst making the results as representative as possible of the GB population. However, the use of a non-probability online sample limits the extent to which the survey responses are truly representative of the full GB population, a limitation of similar online sample surveys. The new weighting scheme uses the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) mapped to approximate social grade for population statistics, for the purpose of quotas and weighting to the GB population. The change to using NS-SEC as the population statistics source will impact the estimation and reporting of trips compared to the previous reporting of social grade used for GBTS in 2019 and previous years. We are planning to introduce a new question in the survey during 2023 that captures household income that will be used to analyse and report on trips taken by different household income bands from 2023 onwards.

Further details of the changes to survey method, sample design, estimation approaches and the effects of applied caps and recalibration are available in the ‘ GBTS Background Quality Report 2021 ’.

Comparability and coherence

Statistics for domestic overnight tourism have been collected in a broadly similar way since 1989. However, the changes in survey methodology introduced in 2021, together with the interruption in data collection due to COVID-19, means that results published from April 2021 onwards are not directly comparable with data published for 2019 and previous years.

As part of the survey, respondents are asked about any overnight trips they have taken in the 4 full weeks prior to their date of interview (reference period).  Trip and expenditure estimates are reported for individual calendar months as well as for quarterly and annual periods. As the interview reference periods do not exactly correspond with calendar months an adjustment is made using a ‘seasonal smoothing factor’ to improve monthly comparisons within and between years. The monthly estimates are subject to limitations on sample size and seasonal fluctuations in trip taking across the year. The monthly pattern of visits in 2021 will have also been influenced by any COVID-19 restrictions in place limiting travel at different times of the year. Users are advised to be aware of these limitations when making month on month comparisons.

The statistics produced from the Great Britain Tourism Survey in 2019 and previous years have been designated as official statistics, which provides reassurance to users that the  statistics are produced to the very highest professional standards of trustworthiness, quality and value, set out in the  Code of Practice for Statistics (Office for National Statistics) . Due to the changes in methodology and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey results for 2021 have been labelled as ‘experimental statistics’ (Office for National Statistics) . The new survey and statistics have undergone a comprehensive programme of quality assurance including piloting of the survey, analysis of changes to the trip definitions, testing the impact of the new weighting scheme and a review of caps and imputation rules. Changes to the survey methodology and estimation have taken account of a review and advice provided by the Methodology Advisory Service of the Office for National Statistics.

As the statistics are produced using a non-probability online survey method, they are subject to the limitations and potential sources of bias and error associated with such surveys. These include:

  • coverage error: due to part of the GB population not having online access
  • sampling error: using a sample to measure the behaviour of the full GB population
  • sample bias: including differences between people with online access and who are online panel members compared to those who are not
  • measurement error: due to respondents entering incorrect values
  • non-response error: including survey refusals and drop-outs and the availability of ‘don’t know’ and ‘prefer not to say’ options

The GBTS data are weighted to correct for any imperfections in the achieved sample that might lead to bias and to rectify any differences between the sample and the target GB population. The survey uses a mix of accredited online panels to mitigate for possible panel specific biases, and the mix of panels is kept consistent over time. Demographic quotas are used to align the sample with the GB population. The survey script and data processing include bespoke checks to verify the accuracy of responses. Imputation is used to cover missing data and caps are used to minimise the impact of extreme values that are entered. Further caps were applied for this revised release, to mitigate the impact of individual trips that were identified as having a disproportionate impact upon the estimated volume of trips, bednights and spend. It is not possible to measure standard sample errors due to the non-probability sample being used, but base sizes are reported for eligible trip takers and users are advised to consider and be cautious of small base sizes, particularly for monthly data and lower-level geographies, when drawing inferences from the statistics.

Further details of quality assurance and trip base sizes are provided in the ‘ GBTS Background Quality Report 2021 ’.

These statistics are used both within and outside the Welsh Government to monitor domestic tourism demand and measure the contribution and impact of domestic tourism on the visitor economy. A key purpose of these statistics is to uncover insights into market trends over time. The estimates released for 2021 will provide insights on the impact of COVID-19 on visitor levels and provide a baseline to measure performance across subsequent years.

As far as possible, the new combined GBTS and GBDVS survey provides consistency with previous information collected, but new questions capture enhanced information on activities undertaken, booking methods and responder profiles including protected characteristics. It is envisaged that this additional information will be of value for the various users of the survey. The current questionnaire is included in the GBTS 2021 Background Quality Report.

The survey sponsors are planning to engage with the priority users of the statistics to check the new survey information meets their needs and we encourage users of the statistics to provide feedback on the data and this output at [email protected] .

Timeliness and punctuality

All outputs adhere to the Code of Practice by pre-announcing the date of publication through the upcoming calendar. Furthermore, should the need arise to postpone an output this would follow the statement on revisions, errors and postponements . We aim to publish data as soon as possible after the relevant research time period. Disruption to the new combined GBTS and GBDVS survey due to COVID-19 and comprehensive testing and quality assuring of the new statistics have resulted in the reporting of 2021 statistics to be later than normal. It is anticipated that future results for Wales will be published on a quarterly basis, to ensure estimates are supported by robust trip base sizes. Specific publication timings will be notified on the WG website, but the aim is to publish quarterly statistics for Wales approximately 9 to 10 weeks after the end of each quarter based on the 4 week survey trip taking reference period and to allow for quality assurance and reporting timescales.

Further information

A summary of changes made to the GBTS survey in 2021 compared to 2019 and previous years

GBTS Background Quality Report 2021

Estimates for domestic overnight tourism in England are available from VisitEngland

Estimates for domestic overnight tourism in Scotland are available from VisitScotland

Contact details

Statistician: David Stephens Email:  [email protected]

Media: 0300 025 8099

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Where Sea Meets Soul.

Summer is here in Jersey, a natural playground for salty souls who want to be as wild and free as the sea.

However you feel when you land on our shores, there’s a deep, elemental magic in our sea air that will leave you feeling renewed, reinvigorated and restored.

Welcome to Jersey - a year-round gem.

Discover a rich history, vibrant culture, an abundance of locally sourced produce (Jersey Royal Potatoes, dairy products, and shellfish to name a few), and the beauty of the great outdoors especially the stunning beaches and breathtaking coastal walks. Whether you are here to relax or explore, embrace the island’s hospitality every season, it’s always a good time to visit Jersey.

Where is Jersey?

Fly to Jersey from numerous UK airports in around an hour, or hop aboard and travel by ferry from Poole or Portsmouth. An escape to the island of Jersey blends familiar English environments with a dash of European flair to create a unique experience of rich countryside and breathtaking coastal views, sweeping beaches and hidden-away bays. Start planning your island break here.

Getting Here

If you’re travelling from the U.K you don’t even need your passport – just photo I.D will do.

If you’re visiting from outside the U.K, including European countries such as France*, Germany and the Netherlands, you will need a passport to soak up those island vibes.

* Until September 30, 2024, under the current scheme, French nationals travelling to Jersey for the day only, will not need a passport, a valid ID is sufficient. 

Get inspired…

Discover places to stay, explore, eat and drink on your perfect island escape.

Salty Dog Bar & Bistro

Sitting comfortably in the ‘heart of the village’ since 1998 speaks volumes about this great little eatery, cherished and recommended by locals and sought out (or a lucky discovery) by visitors. Dining here will touch your soul and invite you back for more.

The Oyster Trail

Join a local resident to walk among the oyster and mussel beds in the Royal Bay of Grouville, followed by the opportunity to sample fresh Jersey Oysters at The Seymour Pub and Restaurant. Hear about the modern cultivation of shellfish in Jersey - the biggest oyster beds in the British Isles - and the fascinating history of the oyster fishery, which in the 19th century was a major industry.

Jul 06 2024 ‐ Aug 18 2024

El Tico Beach Cantina

Visit Jersey’s original beach café, and possibly one of Britain’s original surf schools, hiring out boards since 1948. Perched on the very edge of the beach and in the middle of one of the finest surf bays in Europe. El Tico Beach Cantina, is a world class destination for fabulous food, great wine and glorious beachside sunsets.

Yoga with Kalimukti at Mont Orgueil Castle

Join Kalimukti for a yoga class at Mont Orgueil Castle, an 800 year old medieval castle that overlooks the stunning Royal Bay of Grouville and home to one of Jersey Heritage's most beautiful and historic sites. No yoga experience required, just come join us to move, breath and connect. Indoor and outdoor spaces depending on the weather.

May 18 2024 ‐ Sep 28 2024

Summer Night Sessions at Mont Orgueil Castle

Come for a ‘Summer Night Session’ experience and witness Mont Orgueil Castle in a completely different light! Ease yourself into the weekend with Ibiza sunset vibes within the walls of this historic site as we welcome back the ‘Weekender’ crew for this atmospheric live music event.

May 24 2024 ‐ Aug 15 2024

Plémont Bay

This has to be one of Jersey’s most beautiful beaches. Plémont has a natural drama and enchanting beauty all of its own. A sandy cove on the north-west tip of the island with many rock pools, fascinating sea caves, and even a fresh water waterfall.

Jersey Seafaris

RIB boat trips around Jersey's beautiful coastline, offshore reefs and surrounding waters. Seafaris include Les Ecréhous, Les Minquiers, north coast and caves, France for lunch or dinner, dolphin spotting and so much more. Suitable for all, whether it's scenery, wildlife or an adrenaline fix, there is a Seafari for you.

BeachAbility

BeachAbility is a charity providing specially designed manual, ballooned wheel chairs for use on the beach and other rough terrain. Available at various locations around the island; La Braye, St. Brelade, Gunsite, Bel Royal, West Park, La Mare and Long Beach Gorey.

Laneez Surf Centre

A fun and friendly surf school in the heart of Jersey's surfing community. We are the most central surf school in the bay, providing quality instruction with a focus on safety in and out of the water. Popular with locals and fun and informative for visitors. We can cater for all abilities, confidence levels and age groups.

Portelet Bay Café

A family run café, located right on the beach at Portelet Bay. The café specialises in authentic wood fired pizza as well as seasonal fresh fish during high season and salads always using locally sourced produce wherever possible.

The Moorings Hotel & Restaurant

The newly opened restaurant, located in the harbour village of Gorey is serving up food from menus that are product-led following the seasons and sourcing locally wherever possible. This small family run business can’t wait to welcome you to The Moorings.

Havre des Pas

Havre des Pas and Greve d'Azette are only a short stroll from St. Helier town centre, so a popular choice for families on an island break. This sheltered south facing beach is drenched with Jersey sunshine and skirted with beautiful art deco-style boardwalks.

Make a quick escape to paradise.

Last-minute holiday deals.

Embrace spontaneity and grab a deal for an unforgettable escape. Book a last-minute holiday offer to Jersey now, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of our island paradise this summer.

View last-minute offers

With local food to savour, wide open natural spaces to explore and locals full of pride and passion, whatever makes you tick, discover lots of reasons to fall in love with the island break.

Explore all

Take a sneak peek at the beautiful St. Ouen’s Bay live.

Jersey Beach Cam

Discover St. Ouen’s Bay on the west coast of Jersey. With miles of sand washed by rolling Atlantic waves, the magnificent St. Ouen’s Bay is a natural playground for surfers and adrenaline seekers.

Island inspiration direct to your inbox.

The latest stories, offers and events from our beautiful island.

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Soak up island life at Jersey events.

Whether you are a culture vulture, history buff, adrenaline junkie or just want to get your dancing shoes on; we’ll keep you entertained in Jersey. Explore all the top events to enjoy on your island break.

Discover More

Explore more about visiting Jersey.

Ideas to help you discover your own island break., step into the delights of summer in jersey..

Summer escapes to Jersey are full of memories waiting to be made. Endless beach days, al fresco dining, countless swims in the sea, friendly faces, and full on island vibes – it’s all waiting for you in Jersey this summer. Explore medieval castles, visit the island’s wildlife park at Jersey Zoo, have a beach picnic, or explore Jersey’s epic coastline by boat, kayak or via our network of incredible coastal paths. In Jersey everything is within easy reach, leaving you free to do so much… or so little. Share your special summer moments by tagging @visitjerseyCI or using #JerseyCI.

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What makes Jersey special?

Unravel the captivating tale of Jersey’s distinctive constitution, rich history, pristine environment, vibrant culture, and welcoming community by immersing yourself in the Island Identity Project.

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Gasherbrum ii (8,035m).

Gasherbrum II Expedition 2022-23 (Karakoram) Gasherbrum II Expedition registration is now open. We are offering Gasherbrum II Expedition departures (guided and non-guided) for mountaineers and alpinists from around the…

Broad Peak (8,051m)

Broad Peak Expedition 2022-23 (Karakoram) Broad Peak Expedition registration is now open. We are offering Broad Peak Expedition departures (guided and non-guided) for mountaineers and alpinists from around the…

Gasherbrum (8,068m)

Gasherbrum I Expedition 2022-23 (Karakoram) Gasherbrum I Expedition registration is now open. We are offering Gasherbrum I Expedition departures (guided and non-guided) for mountaineers and alpinists from around the…

Nanga Parbat (8,1276m)

Nanga Parbat Expedition 2022-23 (Karakoram) Nanga Parbat Expedition registration is now open. We are offering Nanga Parbat Expedition departures (guided and non-guided) for mountaineers and alpinists from around the…

K2 ( 8,611m)

K2 Expedition registration is now open. Climbing K2 is considered one of the top mountaineering expeditions in the world. The mighty K2 is every tough mountaineer’s dream. We…

Skardu Katpana lake

Listed in some of the unexplored places of Skardu, Katpana Lake is gaining popularity because of its enchanting beauty. The lake falls in the wonderland Katpana village. Moreover, it is approximately 4km away…

Deosai National Park

The Skardu Tour can never be completed without visiting the massive plains of Deosai. The land of Giants; Deosai inhabitant of Brown bears in its National Park. Tourist finds complete calmness in this region of Skardu as the plains…

Shigar Fort

Next on the list is the Shigar Fort in Skardu Valley that is a magnificent piece of architecture in between the immense plains of Shigar. The cold sand of the Shigar desert is a wonder in…

Another stupefying place to visit in Skardu is Satpara Lake that is elevated at 8650 ft. above sea level. The melting ice of the Deosai plains are the main source of water for the…

Shangri-La Lake

The red hut cottages surround the Shangri la Lake also known as the upper Kachura Lake. It is almost at the elevation of 2499m. The lake is a few kilometres away…

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British tourists take revenge: Majorca shocked as holidaymakers flee leaving island 'half empty'

People on beach in Magaluf

Parts of Majorca have been quieter than usual this week

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 31/05/2024

Updated: 31/05/2024

Britons have hit back at anti-tourist protests in Majorca as parts of the country are "half empty"

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Some British tourists have had enough of Spain as parts of Majorca were quieter than usual over the bank holiday weekend.

Holidaymakers have said they will boycott the country amid the rules and protests targeting Britons.

Parts of the island were "half empty if that" and business owners have shared their concerns over the lack of tourists, local reports in Majorca Daily Bulletin stated.

Owner of Moving to Spain Alison Johnson said: "It was reported this week that Magaluf, known for its lively and vibrant nightlife, was ‘half empty’ despite being the start of the holiday season.

Majorca had more protests last week

"This caused some bar owners to speak out and reiterate that tourism is needed to keep businesses afloat and that they are worried people have been put off visiting the island because of the ongoing protests."

Recently, parts of Spain including Magaluf and Ibiza introduced strict drinking laws where alcohol can only be bought from shops between 8am and 9.30pm.

The restrictions, effective immediately, were put in place to reduce anti-social behaviour from tourists.

This has come as anti-tourist protests have taken place across Spain , including in Majorca where last week locals marched through the streets and told visitors to "go home".

​ This, alongside the new rules, appears to have annoyed some tourists who commented they would now avoid Spain as a result.

One GB News reader said: "There is anti-British feeling in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal... etc."

Another penned: "Their country, their rules, their economy that's dependent on tourism, especially British tourists, go somewhere else and watch the Spanish economy collapse, because of their bad attitude towards us, with a smile on your face."

One more said: "If they don't want our money it will be taken elsewhere", while another agreed stating: "Hope all the English do boycott Spain".

​One more said: "Don't go there anyway, would rather holiday in the UK." Another added: "No such ban on English resorts. Staycations are much better."

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Magaluf is usually busy in the spring and summer months

However, others were quick to defend the holiday destination. One said: "Every year I go to Spain with my friends for a short break but I’ve never had any animosity towards any one of us. It’s just maybe a very small percentage of the Spanish."

A second agreed: "The types of [tourists] complaining they can't drink excessively as if it's the highlight of their lives are in every country I'm afraid, and no one is a fan of them but themselves... Don't blame [Spain] for wanting to do something about it."

Alison added: "With Spanish tourism booming, it has sparked concern amongst locals who are worried about over-tourism. Over recent weeks, protests have taken place across the likes of Majorca, Lanzarote and Tenerife, with locals demanding that the government take action and rethink the tourism model.

"In our experience, locals don’t want an end to tourism - they want a balance that respects their right to live in the places we love to visit."

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Spain u-turns over UK tourists and say 'we don't want holidays to stop'

S panish locals have u-turned over UK tourism and say they "don't want it to end" after demonstrating in the street over the lack of affordable housing amid an influx of British holidaymakers. Alison Johnson, owner of Moving to Spain, has urged Britons not to be put off.

"Over recent weeks, protests have taken place across the likes of Majorca, Lanzarote and Tenerife, with locals demanding that the government take action and rethink the tourism model," said Alison. "In our experience, locals don’t want an end to tourism - they want a balance that respects their right to live in the places we love to visit."

Holding posters reading SOS Residents, Enough Mass Tourism, protesters marched through Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the largest Balearic Island. About 10,000 demonstrators took part, a Spanish National police spokesperson said.

READ MORE HMRC hits thousands with 'most unfair tax in Britain' but people can escape it

A smaller protest with a few hundred people was staged in Menorca. "We want the authorities to stop people who have not lived here more than five years from buying properties and to put more controls on holiday accommodation," said Carme Reines, from a collective which organised the protest in Palma de Mallorca.

Javier Carbonell, a real estate agent, said over half of rental properties were used for holiday rents and were not affordable for locals. "We want less mass tourism and more sustainable tourism," Carbonell said.

On Friday, about 1,000 protesters took part in a demonstration against mass tourism in Ibiza, one of the most popular Balearic Islands, Reuters reported. "We want a limit on new tourist places and a ban on more illegal flats. With less flats around on the market, it pushes up the price," said Rafael Gimenez, a spokesman for Prou Ibiza which organised Friday's protest.

"It was reported earlier this week that Magaluf, known for its lively and vibrant nightlife, was ‘half empty’ despite being the start of the holiday season," said Alison. "This caused some bar owners to speak out and reiterate that tourism is needed to keep businesses afloat and that they are worried people have been put off visiting the island because of the ongoing protests."

Alison Johnson, owner of Moving to Spain, has urged Britons not to be put off.

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What’s open and closed on Memorial Day

A shopper moves past a display of items in a Costco warehouse Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Sheridan, Colo. As many Americans celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, 2024, there are several stores, government offices and businesses that will be open or closed.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A shopper moves past a display of items in a Costco warehouse Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Sheridan, Colo. As many Americans celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, 2024, there are several stores, government offices and businesses that will be open or closed.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

FILE - Chase Bank ATMs are shown, Thursday, March 25, 2021, in New York. As many Americans celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, 2024, there are several stores, government offices and businesses that will be open or closed. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

FILE - A Macy’s department store is in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York, on Tuesday, Dec.12, 2023. As many Americans celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, 2024, there are several stores, government offices and businesses that will be open or closed.(AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

FILE - Letters and packages are loaded on a U.S. Postal Service truck parked outside a post office in Wheeling, Ill., Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. As many Americans celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, 2024, there are several stores, government offices and businesses that will be open or closed. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

FILE - The sun shines through the flags in the Memorial Day Flag Garden on Boston Common, May 27, 2023, in Boston. Businesses increasingly have chosen to stay open on the holiday, leading to what is now one of the biggest retail sales and travel weekends of the year. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

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In what had long been celebrated every May 30 to honor America’s fallen soldiers, Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday in 1971, observed on the last Monday in May.

Businesses increasingly have chosen to stay open on the holiday, leading to what is now one of the biggest retail sales and travel weekends of the year.

Here’s what is open and closed this year on Memorial Day:

GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS

Government offices, post offices, courts and schools are closed.

Memorial Day Weekend

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  • Travel: Crowds and high prices met travelers on the busiest day of the holiday weekend
  • On the menu: Try this recipe for smoky chicken wings or for something lighter, update these classic side dishes
  • What’s open? Check this list of stores and more before you head out
  • Now playing: Here are the movies coming to the box office this weekend and beyond

BANKS AND STOCK MARKET

U.S. stock markets and banks are closed Monday.

Most FedEx and UPS pickup and delivery services will also not be available on Memorial Day.

Warehouse membership club Costco said it would close on Memorial Day , but the vast majority of retailers will be open, with many trying to lure customers with big promotional sales. Hours may vary by location.

Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial opening of the summer travel season. Auto club AAA projects 43.8 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the holiday travel period, an increase of 4% from last year. If those projections are accurate, that would come close to 2005’s record of 44 million Memorial Day weekend travelers.

AAA projects 38.4 million people will travel by car over the weekend — the highest number for that holiday since AAA began tracking it in 2000 — and that another 3.5 million people will travel by air.

gb holidays travel & tourism

Millennials and Gen Zers want human connection, so they're choosing travel tours with strangers to cure their loneliness

  • Intrepid Travel said young people are seeking immersive, non-traditional vacation experiences. 
  • Millennials share more travel similarities with Gen Z travelers than previous generations.
  • Young travelers are prioritizing interest-based travel over destination-based travel.

Insider Today

Young people are seeking more human connection in the post-lockdown era, so they're embracing small-group travel.

Modern technology and social media apps have created a hyper-connected world, but many millennials and Gen Zers say the focus on screens has caused an epidemic of loneliness .

While New apps and local community groups are trying to address this "social distance" problem, some young people are choosing to book their vacations with strangers to find more face-to-face camaraderie.

Intrepid Travel, which organizes small-group experiences in over 100 countries, including Morocco and Sri Lanka, says it's seen a growing interest from young people in these kinds of group tours.

"They're prioritizing travel over buying houses, mortgages, and other expenses," Matt Berna, Intrepid Travel's president of the Americas, told Business Insider.

Group travel can be hit-or-miss with people. They can conjure an image of 40-plus tourists being led off a bus to an overcrowded attraction by their shouting tour guide.

But Berna said Intrepid Travel's focus on small group experiences is the opposite. The average Intrepid Travel group has 10 people.

"It allows us to travel like locals," Berna said. "We eat in small local restaurants. We stay in family-owned hotels. We typically avoid mass market tourism, hotels, or experiences."

It also allows people to form new bonds in a tight-knit setting, which young travelers crave, after the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Camaraderie in a group is so special because you make great friendships and share laughs and stories," Berna said.

Related stories

Berna said these unique experiences are popular with 18 to 29-year-olds — Intrepid Travel's core audience. Experiences are designed with young travelers in mind, offering more free time to explore on their own and more active outings.

Berna said Intrepid Travel began receiving requests from people in their 30s looking for adventures off the beaten path. Millennials traditionally valued experience-driven opportunities , and that desire hasn't waned with time.

"It became clear that millennials are aging, but the style they want to travel is immersive," Berna said. "If anything, they resonated more with Gen Z than the generations above them."

American Express Travel's 2023 Global Travel Trends Report found nearly 80% of millennials and Gen Zers respondents said they want to "partake in a day in the life of locals in the destination they are visiting," pointing toward activities like visiting local cultural sites and "hole-in-the-wall" attractions.

Airbnb, owned by millennial billionaire Brian Chesky , reported in 2020 that it also found that "immersive encounters" were becoming more popular with this generation, with interest up 102% year-to-year.

Older generations, Berna said, book vacations based on destination. Older travelers tend to plan vacations around conventional tourist spots — think the Eiffel Tower in Paris — because it's popular.

However, younger travelers don't have the same sense of FOMO — or "the fear of missing out" — that their parents do. Instead, they book vacations by interest.

At Intrepid Travel, that includes cycling enthusiasts traveling to Vietnam to peddle through the local sites. Experiences based on camping, festivals, and food are also options travelers can explore.

"They want to be a trendsetter going to the next cool place," Berna said. "It will be something new you can share with your friends, so you get the bragging rights. It's a bit more adventurous instead of following the crowd."

After conducting consumer research among its more than 300,000 travelers, Intrepid Travel formally expanded the young trip age range to 35 in February.

"Intrepid identified an opportunity to better cater for an expanded age range after experiencing a rise in inquiries from travelers in their early 30s wanting to join Intrepid's young adult trips," a press release said. "The company conducted extensive consumer research which showed that most travelers aged 18 to 35 prefer to travel with those of a similar age."

As for where travelers are going, Berna said South America has emerged as a top contender, with Peru gaining traction. The country closed its tourist attractions amid political unrest from late 2022 to early 2023, but they reopened in February 2023, according to Travel Weekly .

Another top spot is South Korea, which Berna said is typically more affordable than Japan. Intrepid Travel said they saw 172% increase globally in bookings to South Korea from 2022 to 2023.

"People want to go away and have these stories. They've settled back post-pandemic into feeling life, wanting to travel again, and seeking connection," Berna said. "Not just with other travelers in groups but with destinations."

Watch: Marriott International's Tina Edmundson tells Insider that the travel mindset has changed since the pandemic

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IMAGES

  1. Top 20 holiday destinations in the UK revealed

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  2. United Kingdom Holidays & Travel Packages

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  3. The top UK holiday destinations for 2019 (With images)

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  4. GB Tourism Survey (domestic overnight tourism): Latest results

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  5. REVEALED: Two British holiday locations among world's trendiest

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  6. Презентация holidays in GB

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COMMENTS

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    Updated: 31/05/2024. - 14:12. Britons have hit back at anti-tourist protests in Majorca as parts of the country are "half empty". Some British tourists have had enough of Spain as parts of Majorca were quieter than usual over the bank holiday weekend. Holidaymakers have said they will boycott the country amid the rules and protests targeting ...

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  25. What's open and closed on Memorial Day? Grocery stores, banks and

    TRAVEL. Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial opening of the summer travel season. Auto club AAA projects 43.8 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the holiday travel period, an increase of 4% from last year. If those projections are accurate, that would come close to 2005's record of 44 million Memorial Day ...

  26. Gen Z Is Choosing Travel Tours With Strangers As a Cure for Loneliness

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