Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has welcomed new figures that show the capital has set a new tourism record after more than 30 million visitors came to the city last year, drawn by global sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup and exhibitions at its museums and galleries, according to new figures released Friday.
A record 31.5 million Great Britain residents and international tourists came to the city in 2015 – which is an increase of 20 per cent when compared to five years ago.
London keeps setting new tourism records. Every year since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games there has been an increase in the number of international visitors coming to the city.
The Office for National Statistics’ International Passenger Survey show there were 18.6 million international visits in 2015 compared to 17.4 million in 2014, a previous record year, marking a 7% increase.
Separate data from the Great Britain Tourism Survey carried out by UK tourism body VisitEngland reveals that GB residents made 12.9 million visits to London last year, another new record.
International and GB visitors also spent £15 billion on hotels, restaurants, shopping and attractions – an increase of 35 per cent compared to 2010
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “It is fantastic that more people than ever before are opting to visit London, to sample the best of our capital and the best of Britain. London has something for everyone and an appeal that clearly extends across the globe.
“I’ve pledged to do all I can to support our vital tourism industry so London continues to be a top choice for travellers.”
Separate research by independent forecaster Oxford Economics predicts that London will welcome 35.6 million UK and international visits to the city by 2020.
The tourism industry is a major contributor to the London economy. Overall the sector contributes more than £36 billion to the capital every year and supports around 700,000 thousand jobs.