Showing posts with label visitors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label visitors. Show all posts

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Big Increase in Visitor Numbers to UK .. and of course London too!

Yet again there has been a major growth in the number of people choosing to visit the UK, and most of these will at least pass through London.

So far this year, more tourists have visited the UK than ever before.  For example, between January and June, there were 16.41 million visitors, up 8% on the same period in 2013.  Similarly spending reached £8.92 so far this year, a major benefit to the economy.

In June there were 3.18 million visitors, 10% more than in June 2013, surely an amazing and unexpected figure.  It is anticipated that by the end of the year, visitors to the UK will have spent well over £20 billion.

David Edwards, head of research and forecasting at VisitBritain, declared "Tourism is an essential part of the wider success of our economy and these first six months has set us up for what could be another record year for inward tourism".  Helen Grant, Minister for Tourism, said the figures were fantastic, and indicate that the government's tourism strategy is working.  This creates more jobs, and helps the economy generally.

We can only wait for the figures for the whole of the year, but I'm confident that this growth in tourism will continue.  Hopefully more people who have visited will be encouraged to return to see and experience more.  And the recounting of their UK and London adventures when they return to their home countries will encourage friends and relatives to try out the unique experience for themselves.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

How London is attracting more Visitors

There have been recent reports that London is attracting more visitors than any other city in the world.  The Global Destinations survey, commissioned by MasterCard, forecasts that London will have around 18.7 million visitors this year, ahead of rival cities such as Paris, Bangkok and Singapore.

What can explain this growing popularity?  London has many features that simply can't be matched anywhere else.  Even if, on some criteria, other cities have more to offer (Paris for style, Rome for history) overall London has a wide range of attractions which particularly stand out.

Style and history have already been mentioned.  London is offering a wide range of upmarket fashion shops and the annual fashion shows are increasingly popular.  The historical legacy is greatly valued in London, and apart from famous landmarks such as the Tower of London and St Paul's Cathedral, there are many buildings hundreds of years old in central London, and even in the outer suburbs.

There is, arguably, no better city to walk in than London.  I particularly recommend walking beside the Thames the few miles between London Eye and Tower Bridge.  There is still plenty of interest upstream from the London Eye, and further downstream from Tower Bridge.  If you particularly like walking, then you can walk besides the Thames for most of its length.

There are more theatre performances, particularly musicals, and concerts than anywhere else in the world.  The many museums and art galleries are excellent, with the added advantage that a surprising number of these have free entry.

If you like shopping, then London can be considered the shopping capital of the world, with a higher turnover than both Tokyo and New York.  Oxford Street is famous for the variety of shops, and there are now Westfield shopping centres in the west and east of London which are spectacularly large.

London has a wonderful range of parks.  The best known are Hyde, St James and Green Parks.  However Regents Park has a lot to offer with London Zoo on the northern edge.  And Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park are both magnificent in their scale and natural features, even though you have to travel further to take advantage of these natural delights.

Are visitor numbers to London likely to drop off any time soon?  I very much doubt this as new features are being added on a regular basis, and there are regularly major events taking place which will attract people from around the world.