In 2011, VisitEngland, Visit Scotland and Visit Wales commissioned a new survey to measure volume and value of tourism day visits in England.
A number of earlier surveys were conducted to measure this key sector of the economy, most recently in 2005, but it has been difficult to make comparisons over time due to changing definitions and survey methodologies.
In the new survey, interviewing is carried out weekly, using an online methodology, and an annual sample of over 38,000 interviews with GB adults.
One of the key challenges in measuring this sector is in defining "tourism day visits" in a way which is both in line with international recommendations and possible to measure using a survey methodology. Full details of the definition used are included in the annual survey report, but in summary, to be classified as a "tourism day visit" a trip must:
- Involve participation in one of fifteen leisure activities
- Have lasted at least three hours (including travel)
- Not be an activity which is undertaken "very regularly"
- Be in a destination outside the respondent's place of residence (or place of work if this was the start point of the trip). The exceptions to this are trips to special public events, live sporting events and visitor attractions.
The survey reports also contain details of the volume and value of all 3+ hour leisure trips, i.e. trips which lasted at least three hours, but did not fulfil the other criteria to be counted as a tourism day visit.
The GB Day Visits Survey is an Official Statistic, and is produced in adherence with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics (2009). You can find out more about what this means here
VisitEngland occasionally receives requests for additional data analysis from the GB Day Visits survey. Details of these requests can be found here, and are available on request.