More than 30 million visitors came to the London in 2015, a new record, according to new figures released today. The number is an increase of 20 percent in just five years.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics, International Passenger Survey, show 18.6 million international visitors arrived in 2015, compared with 17.4 million in 2014, a previous record year. Separate data from the Great Britain Tourism Survey conducted by VisitEngland, the official tourist board, showed that 12.9 million of the country's residents visited the capital city last year, another record. According to London & Partners, the official promotional company for the city, independent forecaster Oxford Economics predicts that the city will reach 35.6 million total visitors by 2020.
International and Great Britain visitors spent £15 billion (US$22 billion) on hotels, restaurants, shopping and attractions, an increase of 35 percent compared with 2010.
Remarking on the numbers, Sadiq Khan, the new mayor of the city, said: "It is fantastic that more people than ever before are opting to visit London, to sample the best of our capital and the best of Britain. London has something for everyone and an appeal that clearly extends across the globe. I've pledged to do all I can to support our vital tourism industry so London continues to be a top choice for travelers."
London & Partners has noted 2016 could surpass 2015, as the U.K. celebrates 400 years since the death of Shakespeare and the Queen's 90th birthday.