A record 18.7 million tourists to visit London in 2014

Some 18.7 million tourists are forecast to visit London this year, according to a new international study by Mastercard.

This means that more than the entire population of Holland will be heading to the capital in 2014. It also puts London ahead of its nearest rival, Bangkok, which will lag behind by just 300,000 visitors this year, reports breakingtravelnews.com. Paris and Singapore rank third and fourth place respectively.

For the third time in four years, London is the most popular destination in the world for international travellers. This is a comeback from 2013, where it lost the crown to Bangkok. An eight per cent surge in visitors has pushed London back to number one and the capital is estimated to generate £11 billion from tourists this year, reports standard.co.uk.

Marion King, UK head of payments group Mastercard, says that special events, such as the Tour de France, have made London an attractive destination this year. She adds that people more likely chose to visit London over Bangkok because of its stability, whereas there has been a lot of unrest recently in Thailand.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, comments: “With nearly nineteen million visitors this year London is the world’s favourite place to visit. Our city perfectly combines history, heritage, arts and culture, not to mention vast amounts of green space and major events that are the envy of the planet.”