The UK’s tourism industry, including VisitBritain, takes great pains to encourage visitors to spread out across England, Scotland, Wales, and even Northern Ireland. And while many areas and regions certainly bustle with tourists, especially during the summer high season, the truth is, London is still the straw the stirs the Britain’s tourism drink, reports editor, Michael Baginski in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.
Indeed, last year the city welcomed 17.4 million international visitors, topping record-breaking figures from the year before. And the year before that the city hosted the Olympic Games – a legacy that still lingers today.
The surge in visitors since the 2012 Olympics has also resulted in international visitors spending more in the city’s restaurants, hotels and attractions than ever before. In 2014 visitors boosted London’s economy by a whopping £11.8 billion, prompting bombastic London mayor Boris Johnson to boast: “Record numbers of tourists are spending record amounts of dosh in our amazing city. Our status as the No. 1 destination in the world is surely beyond any doubt!”
The UK Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), meanwhile, points out that Britain’s top four attractions in 2014 were all found in London: The British Museum (for the eighth straight year with almost 7 million visitors); the National Gallery (at 6.4 mil.); for the first time, the Southbank Centre (6.2 mil.); and Tate Modern (5.2 mil.).
Never a city to rest on its laurels – or to rest in – London continues to evolve at break-neck speed.
Check the full story in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.