Half of all tourists to the UK in the Olympic year visit London

LONDON attracted half of all visitors to the UK last year, as the capital city hosted the Olympic Games and celebrated the Diamond Jubilee.

A report by VisitBritain, released yesterday, showed that the number of overseas visitors to London reached almost 15.5m.

Tourists flocked to London in Olympic year The agency’s data also reveals the rankings of other UK cities that attracted the rest of the country’s 31m visitors in 2012.

The Scottish capital, Edinburgh, achieved second place, receiving 1.3m visitors.

Manchester came in third reaching almost 1m, whilst Birmingham and Liverpool were fourth and firth respectively. Glasgow came in a close sixth with more than half a million visitors.

Visits from BRIC markets were on the rise but neighbouring France sent the most number of visitors, reaching 3.8m last year.

However, US visitors’ average spend was the highest at £883, twice the average of the French visitors, with a total of £2.4bn for the year.

The national tourism agency hopes to increase the number of visitors to 40m within the next seven years. The contribution to the economy through visitor spending would then reach £31.5bn, it estimated.