London sees tourism spike
More visitors are booking rooms in central London hotels as the International Passenger Survey reveals that the capital welcomed over four million visitors in the second quarter of 2011.
This figure represents a year-on-year gain of 12.6 per cent, with North American visitors - London's biggest in-bound market - up by nearly nine per cent and Europe up over ten per cent.
The upwards trend continued from the rest of the world category, which showed an increase of just under 30 per cent, representing an increase of 450,000 additional visitors in the three month period compared to 2010.
Figures for the twelve months up till June reveal a nine per cent increase in visits to the capital, following the overall rise in 2010 (by nearly three per cent) and an increase of 4.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2011.
Leisure visitors were the main driver of growth during the period, accounting for over 14 per cent and numbering 2.2 million tourists, followed closely by business visitors at 13.7 per cent, just shy of 770,000 visits.
The group also recorded an unprecedented rise in visiting friends and relatives during the first and second quarter, with an increase of nearly seven per cent.
Visitor expenditure revealed an increase, with European visitor spending up by 18 per cent, meaning overall tourism earning were £2.27 billion.
"With first-class visitor attractions, top flight restaurants and bars, unparalleled shopping experiences and the growing buzz of the Olympic Games it is little wonder that London continues to dominate as one of the most desirable destinations in the world," commented Boris Johnson, mayor of London.
He added: "2012 is set to be a huge year for the capital and we stand ready to welcome the world."