The International Passenger Survey (IPS) collects information about passengers entering and leaving the UK, and has been running continuously since 1961. The IPS conducts between 700,000 and 800,000 interviews a year of which over 250,000 are used to produce estimates of Overseas Travel and Tourism. The study results are used by various government departments, including the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Department for Transport, the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs, VisitBritain and the national and regional Tourist Boards.

Frequently asked Questions

How will the information I have provided be used?

The results are primarily used to:

  • measure the impact of travel expenditure on the UK economy
  • estimate the numbers and characteristics of migrants into and out of the UK
  • provide information about international tourism and how it has changed over time

Examples of the statistics produced from the International Passenger Study are available on the Leisure and tourism page.

Who carries out the study?

The study is conducted by the Office for National Statistics, the government's largest producer of statistics. We compile independent information about the UK's society and economy which provides evidence for policy and decision making, and for directing resources to where they are needed most.

The ten-yearly census for England and Wales, measures of inflation, the National Accounts and population and migration statistics are some of our highest-profile outputs.

Is the study confidential?

Yes, the information you gave us will be treated as confidential as directed by the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. It will be used to produce statistics that will not identify you or anyone in your household. Study information is also provided to other approved organisations for statistical purposes only. All such statistics produced are subject to the Code and the same standards of protection are applied to your information at all times.

Why was I selected?

We select passengers from all major airports and sea routes, at Eurostar terminals and on Eurotunnel shuttle trains.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you have any queries having taken part in the study please contact us on 0800 496 2119. The opening times for the phone line are:

Monday to Thursday 9am to 9pm
Friday 9am to 8pm
Saturday 9am to 1pm

You can read about the commitments ONS makes to those who take part in its studies in our ONS Respondent charter for surveys of households and individuals.

We welcome your suggestions about how we can improve our studies and would also like to hear from you if you are happy with the service you have received.

You can email us at surveyfeedback@ons.gsi.gov.uk.

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