London

Record-breaking number of tourists visit London in 2014

Tourists in front of the Houses of Parliament Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption London's landmarks are a popular draw for visitors to the capital

More tourists visited London last year than ever before according to the latest official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) records showed there were 17.4 million overseas visitors to London in 2014, up 3.5% on the previous year.

The boom has continued since the city hosted the Olympics in 2012 with restaurants, hotels and attractions benefiting most.

Last year visitors pumped £11.8bn into the economy compared to £11.5bn 2013.

Image caption More than 17 million people visited the capital city last year
Image copyright European Photopress Agency
Image caption The ceramic poppies at the Tower of London drew visitors from across the globe

The diverse range of exhibitions and events on offer in London from Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs at the Tate Modern to Sherlock Holmes at the Museum of London were huge crowd-pullers.

Events to mark the 100th anniversary of World War One had a major impact on visitor numbers both from home and abroad.

The number visiting military exhibitions rose by 22% to 3.6 million. More than five million visited The Tower of London's Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, and HMS Belfast also had three million more visits.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "These terrific new figures confirm that record numbers of tourists are spending record amounts of dosh in our amazing city.

"Our status as the number one destination in the world is surely beyond any doubt and with incredible attractions like the Rugby World Cup heading our way, we look forward to welcoming many thousands more visitors to London."

Gordon Innes, chief executive of London & Partners, which runs www.VisitLondon.com, said: "Royal occasions, like the arrival of Princess Charlotte, combined with London's heritage attractions, are expected to attract many more millions from the UK and abroad."

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