London tourists spend £3.2bn in record figures


London welcomed a record 5.1m international visitors between April and June this year, helping to secure the capital’s status as one of the most popular cities in the world.

The figure was 6% up on last year, according to the Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey (IPS).

Tourism spend over the same period was a huge £3.2bn, a 8% increase compared with 2013.

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Over the past five years (2009-2014), the number of overseas visitors coming to London has risen by 22.5 per cent.

The UK also benefitted with 9.9m international visitors coming to visit between April and June, 5% more than last year.

Tourist spending across the UK over this period was £5.8bn, a 7% increase compared with the second quarter of 2014.

The latest figures follow on from a record-breaking 2014 when 17.4m overseas visitors travelled to London, spending £11.8bn across the city’s restaurants, hotels and attractions.

Earlier this year the capital was named the most popular tourist destination in the world for the second year running by MasterCard in the Global Cities Index report.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, welcomed the figures. He said: “These numbers prove that our great capital is without a doubt the best place on earth to visit. People come from around the world to experience our unique mix of history, culture, shopping and world-class events. With our spectacular autumn season of culture and the Rugby World Cup having put London in the spotlight once again, we’ll undoubtedly be welcoming even more tourists to London in the months ahead."

Gordon Innes, CEO at London & Partners, the capital’s official promotional organisation adds: “The positive figures for the second quarter of 2015 bode well for another year of strong visitor numbers and spend across the city’s museums and art galleries, attractions, restaurants and hotels.”