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SOURCE London & Partners
LONDON, May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
London has welcomed over 16 million international visitors in one year for the first time in history, making it one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world.
Tourists from around the globe have flocked to the city in ever increasing numbers to attend world class exhibitions, visit amazing royal palaces, dine at Michelin starred restaurants, and watch world class sporting events.
Many attractions, including the British Museum, Natural History Museum and National Gallery, experienced big increases in visitor numbers. The British Museum, boosted by exhibitions such as 'Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum', was the most popular attraction with over 6.7 million visitors - making it their most successful year on record.
However, the city is not resting on this success but is carrying on delivering world class cultural exhibitions, theatre and sporting events to ensure 2014 is also a momentous year.
Following the hugely successful London 2012 Olympic Games and Diamond Jubilee, the city has experienced a boom in visitors as 16.8 million people arrived in 2013, up nine per cent compared to 2012, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics' International Passenger Survey. International visitors also spent over £11.2 billion on shopping, hotels, restaurants and visiting attractions last year, up 12 per cent compared with 2012.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "These record-breaking figures are a tribute to the outstanding mix of culture, art, music and sport to be found here and more is planned. With major international sporting events including the Rugby World Cup and the Tour de France and spectacular exhibitions at the Tate and the British Museum this year, it is clear that this wonderful city will not rest on its laurels."
Some of the major cultural events this year will be 'Ming: 50 Years that changed China' at the British Museum, 'Constable: The Making of a Master' at the V&A and 'Rembrandt: The Final Years' at the National Gallery.
According to the International Passenger Survey (IPS) London's previous best year was in 2006 when the city welcomed 15.6 million visitors just pipping the 2012 number.
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