London & Partners, the official promotional company for London, announced that London welcomed more international visitors than ever before in 2014, with the city’s cultural attractions and world class sporting events proving irresistible draws for millions, according to new figures released today by the Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey (IPS).
A total of 17.4 million international tourists visited the city last year; it reflects an increase of 3.5% from the previous record of 16.8million visits in 2013. The surge in visitors since the 2012 Olympic Games has been welcomed by businesses as international visitors are spending more in the city’s restaurants, hotels and attractions than ever before. In 2014 visitors boosted London’s economy by £11.8 billion compared to £11.5 billion in 2013, an increase of 3%.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “These terrific new figures confirm that record numbers of tourists are spending record amounts of dosh in our amazing city. 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 city’s diverse and eclectic mix of blockbuster exhibitions and events, including Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs at the Tate Modern, Ming: 50 years that Changed China at the British Museum, Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy, Sherlock Holmes at the Museum of London, the Frieze Art Fair, the Tour de France Grand Départ, Wimbledon Tennis Championships and the Chelsea Flower Show, encouraging people to visit London from all over the world.
The uplift in visitor numbers is reflected across Britain which welcomed nearly 34.4 million visitors, a 5.2% increase compared to 2013. International tourists spent £21.8 billion, up 2.8% compared to the previous year.
A record 58 million people from the UK and overseas visited the city’s 40 most popular tourist attractions last year, up four per cent compared to 2013, according to the Attractions Monitor*, a detailed visitor survey compiled by London & Partners, the Mayor’s international promotional company for the city.