London attracted a record number of tourists from abroad in 2014, with 17.4m people coming to enjoy its history, culture, food and shopping.
The figure marks a 3.5 per cent climb in visitor numbers on 2013, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday. A total of £11.8bn was spent in London by tourists last year – enough to take 375m trips round the London Eye. Compared with 2013, spending was up three per cent.
“These terrific new figures confirm that record numbers of tourists are spending record amounts of dosh in our amazing city,” said Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. “Our status as the number one destination in the world is surely beyond any doubt, and with incredible attractions like the Rugby World Cup heading our way we look forward to welcoming many thousands more visitors to London.”
The capital’s museums and galleries saw jumps of 11.75 per cent in visitor numbers, according to London & Partners, the official promotional company for London.
“London’s leading visitor attractions form the bedrock of the city’s status as one of the most culturally rich and historic capitals in the world. Last year London welcomed record numbers of international tourists – with four out of five citing the city’s historic and cultural assets as the main reason they come,” said London & Partners chief executive Gordon Innes.