Proposed future approach to measure travel and tourism statistics

Closed 21 Dec 2021

Opened 5 Oct 2021

Feedback updated 15 Mar 2022

We asked

In October 2021, as part of its Review of Travel and Tourism Statistics, ONS launched a consultation on a proposed approach for the future measurement of travel and tourism statistics.

The consultation sought feedback on this proposed approach which will be used to inform the recommendations of the review, due to be published in Spring 2022.

For full details, please see the consultation document.

You said

The consultation received a total of 63 responses. These consisted of:

  • 25 responses from the government sector, including local government and public bodies
  • 9 responses from the business sector
  • 7 responses from the third sector, including charities and think tanks
  • 5 responses from the academia and research sector
  • 17 responses from other responses (including individuals)

Responses were submitted on behalf of individuals and organisations. Some respondents provided feedback based on the views of multiple organisations.

The majority of responses were supportive of the proposed approach for the measurement of travel and tourism statistics in the future and agreed that it would deliver statistics that meet the needs of users.

The feedback received highlighted user demand for more timely estimates as well as the availability of estimates with more detailed geographical breakdowns. It also flagged a need to minimise and explain any discontinuities introduced that would affect comparisons with previous years.

Since we sought user feedback at a relatively early stage of this development, consulting on a vision for these statistics rather than the statistical outputs, a large number of comments sought more detail. In particular, respondents would like more evidence that the proposed approach can deliver the level of quality required by users for the required range of variables.

We did

The feedback received through this consultation will be carefully considered and will inform the recommendations included in the final report on the Review of Travel and Tourism Statistics, due to be published in Spring 2022.

It is anticipated that a period of additional research will follow the conclusion of this review to further refine the proposed approach and allow an implementation plan to be developed. While the consultation responses will be important in defining this research, it is also our intention to continue to engage with users as further detail is available.

The document below captures the full breadth of responses we received in relation to this consultation, as well as our suggested actions resulting from them.

Results updated 15 Mar 2022



The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is looking for feedback to inform a review of our travel and tourism statistics.

Travel and tourism statistics are used by businesses, policy-makers, tourism boards and many others to understand patterns and behaviours of people who travel both internationally and domestically. However, we now need to review how well these statistics are meeting the needs of the people and organisations using them. Similarly, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted some weaknesses in the current approach to data collection.

Our review, of which this consultation is a part, provides the opportunity to gather a comprehensive understanding of user needs, and to explore how best they can be met in a changing environment.

Why your views matter

As part of our review, we have worked with our stakeholders to develop a proposed approach for how we will measure travel and tourism statistics in future. The proposed approach represents a move away from how we formerly collected data (relying heavily on the International Passenger Survey) and towards a system that maximises the use of alternative data sources alongside survey data.

We are asking organisations and people who use travel and tourism statistics to provide feedback on this proposed approach, which aims to:

  • deliver statistical outputs that better meet the needs of users
  • maximise the use of alternative data sources
  • use surveys where necessary
  • deliver improved coherence across all travel and tourism statistics

Please refer the consultation document at the bottom of this page, as well as this accompanying article and methods paper for full details of what we are proposing.

Your feedback will be used to guide future development of this work and inform the final recommendations of the review, which will be published in Spring 2022.

How to respond

We encourage you to respond online wherever possible. However, responses in writing or by email will also be accepted via:

or: ONS Consultations Team, Post Room, Office for National Statistics, Segensworth Road, Fareham, PO15 5RR

Should you wish to submit your main response online and any supporting information via hard copy or email, please be clear that this is part of the same consultation response.


All material relating to this consultation can be provided in braille, large print, or audio formats on request. British Sign Language interpreters can also be requested for any supporting events.


  • Anyone from any background


  • Business
  • Crime
  • Economy
  • Health
  • Labour market
  • Migration
  • Population
  • Statistics
  • Data
  • Formal consultations