London’s growing popularity has landed it the title of the world’s most visited city by foreign tourists, a recent survey has revealed.
The research, conducted by The Office for National Statistics (ONS), found that the capital welcomed a total of 16.8 million visitors, more than a one million rise from its previous record set in 2006, telegraph.co.uk reports. This rise saw the city overtake Paris as the tourist destination with the most visitors.
Tourism has been a leading industry in the growth of the UK’s economy, with visitors to the city spending an estimated £11.26 billion on shopping, restaurants, hotels and other attractions.
American tourists led the way with more than 1.88 of them having travelled to the capital, with the French following closely behind with 1.88 million visitors.
Kit Malthouse, chairman of London & Partners, the city’s official promotional organisation, told dailymail.co.uk that London is building on its current reputation as it offers world-renowned attractions and exhibitions which people are willing to travel lost distances to see.
Ms Malthouse said: “The wealth and breadth of the city’s cultural offering is incredible. From exhibitions showcasing the greatest artists and the world’s most famous fictional detective, to spectacular river festivals – the city offers something for everyone, young and old.”