A record 31.5 million Great Britain residents and international tourists came to the London in 2015 – an increase of 20 per cent when compared to five years ago, according to an official press release.
Figures released on May 20th by 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. 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.
Exhibitions, theatre and major events including Cosmonauts: The Birth of Space Age, at the Science Museum, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the V&A, The Elephant Man at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and the 2015 Rugby World Cup all helped to draw visitors to the city.
Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional company for the London, said: “Millions of people want to come to London from all over the world because the city has an unrivalled mix of culture, art, music, theatre, restaurants and major events. Tourism is a crucial part of the city's economy and we anticipate a significant increase in the number of UK and international visitors for many years to come.”
In the last five years London & Partners, which runs VisitLondon.com, has contributed nearly £500 million in economic benefit (measured GVA) to the London tourism economy and supported 8830 jobs