UK: London Crowned as the World”s Most Popular Tourist Destination

London is now the top tourist destination in the world with over 17 million international tourists arriving last year according to Visit Britain. The largest group came from France with over 2 million visits to London last year, presumably due their locality. Visitors from the US came in second place with almost as many visits as the French. The stats also show that remarkably, almost 1 in 8 Irish people came to London in the last year.

Tourism in London took a big hit during the financial crisis of 2008 but has been rapidly increasing with now nearly 110 million nights spent by tourists in the capital. A total of £11.8bn was spent in London by tourists last year and the top 3 attractions were The British Museum, The National Portrait Gallery and Southbank Centre, showing that tourists are drawn by the culture and history that the capital has to offer. With the Rugby World Cup heading to London later this year, we will likely see thousands more visitors to the city.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “… I’m delighted that London has proudly held on to this coveted title, as we celebrate another triumphant and record-breaking year for tourism in the city. With its unrivalled mix of history, culture, culinary gems and cutting-edge creativity, I’m confident that these accolades will keep coming as the capital continues to surprise and excite visitors from all over the world…”

The top 10 nationals visiting London:

  1. France

  2. USA

  3. Germany

  4. Italy

  5. Spain

  6. Netherlands

  7. Ireland

  8. Australia

  9. Sweden

  10. Switzerland

Elsewhere in the world, visits to Bangkok and Paris came second and third respectively, while Dubai is ranked fourth on the list. Istanbul, which has seen a rapid rise in visitors over the last several years makes a shock entry at number five, knocking New York out of the top five completely.

If you are interested in visiting London or the UK and require some information on whether you require a visa please contact us.

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