Visit London has announced 2007 was a second, consecutive record year for overseas visitors to the capital.
Provisional results, published by the Office of National Statistics, show a record 16.1 million overseas visitors for London in 2007, up nearly 3% on 2006. The total number of overseas and domestic visitors to the capital was 26.2 million.
Total spending by overseas visitors was £8.7 billion, up 11.2% on 2006. Total spend, excluding day visits, reached a record £10.9 billion, a rise of 8%.
In contrast to the strength of overseas visits, domestic tourism fell last year, down 7.5% to 10.1m visits. This mirrored results across the UK which saw overall domestic visitor numbers fall by 2% in 2007.
Visit London chief executive, James Bidwell said, 'London will continue to benefit from hosting major events such as the return of the American NFL in October this year as well as high profile exhibitions. Tutankhamun at The O2 continues to be a major draw for domestic visitors to London.
The recent Chinese Terracotta Warriors exhibition at the British Museum saw over 850,000 visitors – another record result for one of the capital's leading attractions.'
Although the number of US visitors fell by 1.7% to 2.5 million, the US remains London's largest market, followed by France (1.34 million visitors) and Germany (1.25 million).
The number of Chinese visitors rose by 37% to 89,000. Visits from India were up by more than 3% to 237,000 and for the second consecutive year, Indian visitors to London outspent the Japanese – £171 million against £149 million.
New London Mayor Boris Johnson said, 'Tourism is one of London's success stories and translates directly into jobs and income for Londoners. Record overseas tourist numbers demonstrate the impact of London on the world stage and I am delighted with these results.'
Visit London provides a range of up-to-date facts and figures on tourism in London at http://corporate.visitlondon.com/facts_figures/.