Foreign tourists spend £11.45bn in London

LONDON makes up more than half of inbound tourist spending, according to official figures released yesterday, rising to almost two thirds when including the south east of England.

In 2011 inbound visitors from abroad splashed out £11.45bn in the capital out of £20.98bn across the UK as a whole, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.

When combined with the rest of the south east of England, spending rises to £13.71bn, 65 per cent of the country’s total.

Despite London’s dominance among international visitors, other parts of the UK are significantly more popular with UK tourists – London made up barely 10 per cent of domestic tourism spending from overnight stays.

In comparison, 17.7 per cent of spending from residents going on holiday in the UK is in the south west of England, which attracts less than five per cent of the money of foreign visitors.

The ONS estimates that in terms of its contribution to the economy, the gross value added (GVA) of the tourism industry is lowest overall in Yorkshire and the Humber at 4.2 per cent, and highest for London at 7.7 per cent.

When broken into smaller regions, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly also perform particularly well, with over eight per cent of GVA from the tourism industry.

Cheshire, Essex and Durham are some of the worst performing smaller areas, with GVA for the tourism sector at barely five per cent.