UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

International Passenger Survey, 2016

Title details

SN: 8016
Title: International Passenger Survey, 2016
Alternative title: IPS
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-8016-4
Series: International Passenger Survey [International Passenger Survey, 1993-]
Depositor: Office for National Statistics
Principal investigator(s): Office for National Statistics


The citation for this study is:

Office for National Statistics. (2017). International Passenger Survey, 2016. [data collection]. 4th Edition. UK Data Service. SN: 8016,

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Subject Categories

Consumer behaviour - Economics
Economic conditions and indicators - Economics
Leisure, tourism and sport - Society and culture
Migration - Population, vital statistics and censuses
Travel and transport


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The International Passenger Survey (IPS) aims to collect data on both credits and debits for the travel account of the Balance of Payments, provide detailed visit information on overseas visitors to the United Kingdom (UK) for tourism policy, and collect data on international migration.
The data covers four subject areas, termed 'Airmiles', 'Alcohol', 'Qregtown' and 'Qcontact'. One file is produced each quarter per subject area, and the dataset updated quarterly. These files can be joined together using the variables YEAR, SERIAL, FLOW and QUARTER.

The depositor recommends that only expert users who are very familiar with the coding and weighting structures use these data, as limited support is available. Some considerable understanding of the data is required before meaningful analyses can be made; care must be taken when performing time series operations as codes can vary from year to year and not all variables from one year's dataset are used in other years.

Weighting the IPS
ONS advise that the variable 'fweight' included in the 'Qcont' dataset should be applied to get an overall weighted profile. This weight is set consistently over time.

Latest edition information
For the fourth edition (May 2017), 2016 data files were deposited for AirMiles, Alcohol, Qcont and QReg; each file contains data for all four quarters. The documentation has also been updated.

Main Topics:
Each of the four subject areas of this study covers different topics, as it follows:
  • 'Airmiles': quarter; flow; serial; UK port or route; direct leg overseas port; final overseas port; distance from UK port to first port; from first to second port; from UK port to second port
  • 'Alcohol': year; quarter; month; flow; serial; money spent on spirits; wine; beer; champagne; cigarettes; hand-rolled and other tobacco
  • 'Qregtown': year; quarter; month; flow; serial; towns stayed in overnight; details of type of accommodation; number of nights spent in towns; expenditure in towns; regional stay weight; regional visit weight; regional expenditure weight; various validation checks
  • 'Qcontact': year; quarter; month; flow; serial; nationality; country of visit/residence; UK counties; date visit began; purpose of visit; intended length of stay; number of people; package tour and cost; expenditure pre-, post- and during visit; flight prefix and suffix; first carrier air or shipping line; direct leg overseas port; final overseas port; long- or short-haul; type of vehicle; number travelling in vehicle; fare type and cost; class of travel; business trip; type of flight; flight origin or destination; gender; age group; UK port or route; quality of response; date of interview; money transfer, net and total expenditure; type of transport; arrivals (number of adults); departures (type of travelling group, number of adults and children); weighting variables; various validation checks
  • Coverage, universe, methodology

    Dates of fieldwork: January 2016 - December 2016
    Country: United Kingdom
    Spatial units: Counties
    Observation units: Individuals
    Kind of data: Numeric data
    Individual (micro) level
    Universe: National
    Air passengers
    Rail passengers
    Sea passengers
    Visits to and from the United Kingdom
    Time dimensions: Repeated cross-sectional study
    The survey is conducted annually, and the data updated quarterly.
    Sampling procedures: Multi-stage stratified random sample
    Number of units: Airmiles data: 236,288 cases; Alcohol data: 101,650 cases; Qcont data: 286,486 cases; Qreg data: 48,836 cases.
    Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview
    Weighting: Weighting used. See abstract (above) for details.

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    Administrative and access information

    Date of release:
    First edition: 19 July 2016
    Latest edition: 26 May 2017 (4th Edition)
    Copyright: Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland
    Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions for further information.
    Availability: UK Data Service
    Contact: Get in touch


    Title File Name Size (KB)
    IPS, 2016: ASCII Data Map 8016_ascii_data_map.xls 64
    IPS, 2016: Air Arrivals Questionnaire 8016_air_arrivals_booklet_2016.pdf 258
    IPS, 2016: Air Departures Questionnaire 8016_air_departures_booklet_2016.pdf 235
    IPS, 2016: Sea Arrivals Questionnaire 8016_sea_arrivals_booklet_2016.pdf 242
    IPS, 2016: Sea Departures Questionnaire 8016_sea_departures_booklet_2016.pdf 214
    IPS, 2016: Travel Trends Report - Annual 8016_travel_trends_2016.pdf 1909
    IPS, 2016: Travel Trends Report - Quarter 1 8016_travel_trends_quarter1_2016.pdf 343
    IPS, 2016: Travel Trends Report - Quarter 2 8016_travel_trends_quarter2_2016.pdf 1230
    IPS, 2016: Travel Trends Report - Quarter 3 8016_travel_trends_quarter3_2016.pdf 395
    IPS, 2016: Eurotunnel Arrivals Questionnaire 8016_tunnel_arrivals_booklet_2016.pdf 240
    IPS, 2016: Eurotunnel Departures Questionnaire 8016_tunnel_departures_booklet_2016.pdf 214
    Study information and citation UKDA_Study_8016_Information.htm 6
    READ File read8016.htm 10


    View publications... Hide publications...

    By principal investigator(s):
    Central Statistical Office (1993-1997) Business monitor MA6: overseas travel and tourism, London: HMSO, annual.

    Central Statistical Office (1993-1997) Business monitor MQ6: overseas travel and tourism, London: HMSO, quarterly.

    Office for National Statistics (1997- ) Business monitor MQ6: overseas travel and tourism, London: The Stationery Office, quarterly. From 2003, the Business Monitor MQ6 publication is included as part of the study documentation. Alternatively, Adobe PDF versions are available online from the Office for National Statistics web site.

    Central Statistical Office (1995) First release: overseas travel and tourism, 1 November, London: CSO.

    Central Statistical Office (1995-1997) Travel trends, London: HMSO, annual.

    Office for National Statistics (1998- ) Travel trends, London: The Stationery Office, annual. From 2003, the Travel Trends publication is included as part of the study documentation. Alternatively, Adobe PDF versions are available online from the Office for National Statistics web site, from 1999 onwards.

    The Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) has produced a 'Data Dictionary' covering summary information on UK-based survey series (including the IPS) that include any data on alcohol. Further information and links to the dictionary documents may be found on the IAS Data Dictionary - Table of Contents web page.

    Resulting from secondary analysis:


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