UK Travel Collapsed by 75 per cent in 2020, Race is Now on to Holiday

The number of Britons travelling to Spain is set to rise after dismal year for holidaymakers. Image: Wikimedia

Very few people went anywhere last year, but 100,000 Brits are expected in Spain this week.

Startling figures from the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) released today reveal just how badly impacted the travel and tourism sector was impacted by Covid-19 travel restrictions.

In 2020, overseas residents made just 11.1 million visits to the UK, 73 per cent fewer than in 2019. They spent £6.2 billion on their visits to the UK in 2020, 78 per cent less than in 2019.

Britons made 23.8 million visits abroad in 2020, which was 74 per cent fewer than the previous year because of the coronavirus pandemic and they spent £13.8 billion on visits abroad in 2020, 78 per cent less than in 2019, according to the ONS’s ‘Overseas travel and tourism: 2020’ report.

The report added, “There was an 81 per cent decrease in visits to North America (1.1 million); a smaller fall was seen in visits to European countries, a decrease of 74 per cent (18.7 million). Visits to ‘other countries’ fell by 73 per cent to 4.1 million.”

With restrictions easing in both the UK and across Europe, thousands of Britons are expected to travel soon, including up to 100,000 UK arrivals in Spain this week.

The Euro Weekly News is running a campaign to help reunite Brits in Spain with their family and friends by capping the costs of PCR tests for travel. Please help us urge the government to cap costs at

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.