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Royal wedding and football boost tourism figures

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More than four million people visited London in the second quarter of the year as tourists flocked to see the royal wedding and the UEFA Champions League final, figures have shown.

The capital hosted 4.03 million visitors between April and June this year, an increase of 12.6 per cent on last year, according to provisional figures from the International Passenger Survey. One-off events like April’s royal wedding and the football final between Barcelona and Manchester United at Wembley in May encouraged people to visit London.

Tourists from North America remain London’s largest in-bound market and visitor numbers from this group were up 8.6 per cent on the same time last year. There were some 10.4 per cent more visitors from Europe, while tourism from the rest of the world increased by 20.9 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2010. In total, an additional 450,000 people visited London compared with April to June last year.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “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. 2012 is set to be a huge year for the capital and we stand ready to welcome the world.”

Year-on-year, visits to the capital increased by nine per cent in the 12 months to June. This follows an overall increase of 2.7 per cent in 2010 and a rise of 4.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2011. London raked in £2.27bn in tourism receipts in the second quarter of this year.

London & Partners CEO Gordon Innes said: “We had lots to celebrate in London during this quarter, notably key one off events such as the royal wedding and UEFA Champions League, which both attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to the capital. Wimbledon, Chelsea Flower Show and other annual events can also be attributed to this impressive upturn. We look forward to seeing this upward trend continue for the rest of the year.”

The figures for the second quarter of 2011 may be slightly flattered by the favourable comparatives brought about by the shutdown of UK airspace in April last year. However, even taking the six-day closure of airspace into account, the tourism figures have still improved significantly.




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