London sees tourism bump

More people look set to take in the sights and the sounds of the capital from the vantage point of central London hotels as figures from the International Passenger Survey show a growing number of visitors to the city.

According to the survey, as reported by official tourism group London & Partners, London welcomed nearly five million visitors in the third-quarter of 2011 – the three month period from July to September.

This represents a growth of nearly two per cent when compared to the same period the previous year, meaning more globe trotters are out on romantic London getaways, student trips, sightseeing tours and more.

Long-haul travellers, perhaps hoping to catch glimpses of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye, provided the biggest boost to the numbers, with North American visitors jumping nearly eight per cent.

Furthermore, the capital experienced a boom in guests from Brazil, Russia, China and India.

“London remains one of the most exciting and unique destinations in the world,” bragged mayor of London Boris Johnson.

“Last year saw more visitors than ever coming to our great city and, standing on the cusp of what is set to be one of the most memorable years the capital has ever seen, there couldn’t be a better time to visit.”

He stressed the upcoming Olympics with accompanying “cultural extravaganzas”, alongside the pomp and pageantry of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, means that the city offers something for everyone in 2012.

The expected spike in visitors could be a big boost to the capital’s tourism and hospitality industries, as growth in American and European visitors amounted to £2.8 billion in expenditure.

Overall tourists are spending more money when they visit London’s many attractions, with the average holiday spend hitting £633 in 2011 compared to £574 in 2010.

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