Updated on June 27, 2022 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Bristol is a city in the West of England, with a vibrant living culture that attracts tourists to its popular attractions. Well-designed neighborhood tourism initiatives could provide a new cultural dimension and benefit both residents and visitors.

With its associated hinterland, Bristol is a unique and increasingly popular destination for visitors.

Welcoming millions of business and leisure visitors each year, Bristol is undoubtedly one of the UK’s leading thriving creative cities attracting talent to live and work here; as well as appealing to tourist destinations, appealing to people of all ages from across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world to visit and enjoy what makes it so original.

Here are some of the city’s tourism facts, statistics, and trends.


  • There are 16,000 people employed in the creative sector.
  • Bristol‘s 6,000 cultural and creative organizations and businesses generate £496 million a year.
  • Bristol welcomed 52% of all staying domestic trips to the region and 57% of all international staying trips. 
  • Bristol had the highest number of domestic day visits with 41% of all-day visits and 44% of day visitors spend.
  • Bristol is the 8th most visited town or city in the UK by international visitors. 
  • International staying visits account for 25% of staying trips, 49% of all nights, and 47% of all staying visitors spend.
  • Data for 2018 shows Bristol has seen its second-highest number of international staying trips ever with 598,000.
  • 2018 data shows that international trips are staying longer and spending more, meaning the value of overseas visitors is the highest it has ever been at £203.71m, an average spend per visit of £341.
  • Spend from delegates at business events is estimated to be worth an estimated £347m with a further £26.1m spent on social events in venues.
  • Bristol’s top five international markets by estimated total trips are (in order) Spain, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, France, the Netherlands, the USA, and Australia.
  • Bristol hosts 11 annual international film festivals, each providing a diverse and dynamic program of events, drawing local, national, and international audiences. 


  • Visitors perceive bristol as a destination with a clear identity in terms of shopping and festivals.
  • Additionally, Bristol is seen as a stylish city with convenient transport links.


  • Like New York, Bristol is both a city and a county.
  • Bristol was voted Best City to Live in Britain in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide 2017.
  • Bristol was crowned the Best Culinary Destination in the World Food Travel Association.
  • Bristol Zoo is the 5th oldest zoo in the world and since then has helped over 175 species from extinction including one of the most poisonous animals on Earth, the golden poison frog.
  • Bristol is famous for trip-hop and drum and bass, due to local music acts Massive Attack, Portishead, and Roni Size among others.
  • Across the world, there are 35 cities, towns and other places named Bristol, all of which are believed to be named after the original (and best) Bristol, UK. 29 of them are in the USA alone, making it one of the most popular place names in America.
  • Flying to over 115 destinations, in over 34 countries, handling over 8.2 million passengers Bristol Airport is the fastest growing regional airport in the UK
  • Bristol was named as one of The Best European Cities to visit in 2019 by The Independent.
  • Bristol was named in the Guardian ‘Where to go on holiday in 2019 – the hotlist’
  • Bristol named ‘Rising Star’ destination at National Geographic Traveller Reader Awards
  • Bristol was named the most artistic city in the UK by a survey from Premier Inn, considering the number of museums, theatres, amount of live music gigs, and the quantity of street art.
  • Bristol is a UNESCO City of Film.
  • The demographic profile of the bristol visitor is younger than in other cities and the rest of Great Britain.
  • As with other cities, hotels are by far the most popular accommodation, with significantly higher levels of use than other destinations in Great Britain.
  • Also in line with other cities, self-catering options are significantly less used options.
  • Bristol has some challenges with regard to visitation and loyalty. The satisfaction score (8.0) for trips to bristol is lower compared to other cities.
  • June – August is the busiest season for tourism in Bristol. Summer is the most preferred time by tourists
  • In 2017 Bristol was designated a UNESCO City of Film, enabling its film community to forge further international collaborations.
  • Bristol’s landscape is set to be transformed over the next few years as billions of pounds are spent on new developments, including homes, offices, and leisure spaces.
  • Bristol’s prospects for tourism in 2022 look considerably better as the city has prepared a busy calendar of tourist-friendly events, and with international tensions looking set to deter many from overseas travel.
  • Costs and recruitment are the biggest threat Bristol hotels face as they seek to return to ‘business as usual’ post-pandemic. 
  • The national tourism agency, VisitEngland, has selected Visit West to receive further funding to help promote Bristol as they recover from the effects of the pandemic this spring and summer.
  • Bristol City is one of the Local Authorities chosen to be part of the national Future Parks
  • Britain will have a tourism industry worth over £257 billion by 2025.
  • For the full calendar year, inbound visits are forecast to increase to 21.1 million, and spending to £16.9 billion.
  • These are 52% and 59% respectively of the visits and spend levels seen in 2019.