A significant increase in visitors from emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India helped boost London’s tourism figures in the third quarter of last year.
Provisional figures from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) show the capital welcomed 4.4 million visitors between July and September last year, 1.9 per cent more than in the same period in 2010.
A surge in visitors from long-haul destinations helped boost London’s performance, with trips from North America up 7.8 per cent and visits from emerging economies in South America and Asia rising sharply.
The strong interest from long-haul countries contributed to an increase of almost 80,000 in visitors to the capital in the third quarter compared to 2010. Furthermore, visits to London in the year to the end of September went up 5.9 per cent, according to the provisional figures, which show an increase of 8.5 per cent in business visits over the same time.
Some 700,000 people visited the capital on business in the third quarter of 2011, representing a rise of five per cent year-on-year. The number of corporate visitors from the US rose six per cent as it remained London’s biggest business market, while other important business markets such as Germany and France also performed well.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London remains one of the most exciting and unique destinations in the world. 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.
“From world class sport, to cultural extravaganzas, to the pomp and pageantry of the Diamond Jubilee there really is something for everyone to enjoy.”
The figures also showed the average visitor to London spent £633, up from £574 in 2010, after visitor expenditure growth rose 12.4 per cent year-on-year.
London & Partners CEO Gordon Innes said: “The solid evidence of sustained recovery is evident in these latest results for the capital. We can also see an indication of the burgeoning BRIC sector and an increase in visitors from Asia and other countries. Big draws for this quarter included Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress at the summer opening of Buckingham Palace, London Pride and the very successful World Badminton Championships at Wembley.”