London finishes top for European city tourism

The most popular city in Europe for international tourism is London, according to new figures.

London finished top out of 58 cities in Europe by the number of bednights spent there by international tourists. The British capital saw more than 35 million of these in 2012 – a 1.2 per cent increase compared with 2011, reports

The figures were produced by international tourism organisation European Cities Marketing (ECM), which included the statistics in its ‘ECM Benchmarking Report’. People do not always come to London for leisure though – often they will be in town for one of the corporate events London regularly hosts.

Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, ECM president, said: “Bednight numbers representing tourists from BRIC markets such as Russia and China grew tremendously over the previous year, proving once again the importance and potential of these countries as strong source markets for the European tourism industry.”

The research showed that the number of bednights recorded for Russian and Chinese tourists rose by 20.4 per cent and 28.5 per cent respectively. Behind London in the rankings were Paris, Rome, Barcelona and Prague.

ECM’s study was also cited by, which picked out the upturn in Japanese tourists in 2012 after a dip in 2011. The number of bednights attributed to Japanese travellers increased by 13.4 per cent.