London: India has emerged as one of the fastest growing tourism markets for London, registering a nearly 40 per cent increase in Indian tourist footfalls in the British capital last year.
According to the latest International Passenger Survey data released this week, Indian tourist visits rose from 273,400 in 2016 to 382,400 in 2017, marking a 39.9 per cent increase.
The spending by these Indian tourists also registered an increase of nearly 9.5 per cent. "I'm delighted that so many more Indians have chosen to visit London this year, joining the thriving Indian community that already live, study and work here," said Laura Citron, CEO of London & Partners which runs VisitLondon.com.
London & Partners is the promotional company for the British capital. India ranked 15th on a worldwide tourism scale for London, with the US, France and Germany making up the top three countries from where tourists come to the British capital.
China ranked 19th with 219,400 visitors coming in 2017 and Japan came in at 23rd with 174,800 tourists last year. The other countries to mark a significant jump in numbers over 2016 was Iceland and Serbia, which registered a hike of 89.6 per cent and 70.8 per cent respectively.
"London offers a range of fantastic experiences, cultural institutions, top restaurants, shopping and greenspaces for visitors from all over the world. Next year will also see exciting events such as the Cricket World Cup come to London and we're looking forward to another record year of visitors,” Citron said.
Overall, the British capital registered 4 per cent growth in international visitors to London from 19.1 million in 2016 to 19.8 million in 2017. Spending by international visitors was up 14 per cent year on year, to a record GBP 13.5 billion.
With recent weeks of sunshine and heatwave during the peak holiday season in the UK, popular tourist destinations such as London Zoo and Greenwich Park have already seen a rise of about six per cent visitors as compared to last year in the corresponding period.