London visitor numbers set to boom


We all know London is one of the tourist capitals of the world – and new figures suggest this status is in no way under threat.

Indeed, a report by STR and Tourism Economics has found that for six consecutive years starting with 2010, London has posted year-on-year growth in revenue per available room.

And while hotel performance has been slightly down this year, since 2015’s figures were boosted by events such as the Ashes and the Rugby World Cup, another increase is predicted for 2017.

Domestic demand looks set to be a big contributor to this upturn next year, with STR and Tourism Economic saying continued economic growth will help to encourage Britons to book Budget Hotels in London.

Amid all the uncertainty over issues such as Brexit, it’s refreshing to see that people in the UK aren’t being thrown off course and making sure they enjoy a proper domestic break – or a so-called ‘staycation’.

Rangers House, Greenwich Royal Park, London UK

So what is it that keeps British people coming back to the capital city again and again? Well, we can think of a few things!

It’s globally renowned among tourists

Did you know London has come top of the annual MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index for the five of the last eight years – with only Bangkok ranking ahead of it this year? It’s a tribute to London’s tourist offering if it’s so consistently beating the likes of New York, Paris and Berlin in terms of visitor numbers.

It’s refreshing to see that it’s not just leisure travellers from overseas that are flocking to the city and that people at home are keen to see what it offers as well.

London’s easy to navigate

London can look intimidatingly large on a map and even more so when you arrive in the city. But authorities in the capital know that not everyone is familiar with it and have therefore placed plenty of maps in key locations.

And they’ve made it really simple to travel from one area to another with the Oyster Card, where you can just use a smart card to hop onto a bus, train or Tube quickly and easily.

Affordable, reliable, convenient and straightforward to use, London’s transport infrastructure is surely one of its finest attributes.

A varied array of attractions

London offers a rich array of things to see and do, catering to its ages, backgrounds, tastes and budgets. In fact, with regards to the last point, plenty of the city’s attractions are free to enjoy. Many prestigious galleries and museums, for instance, don’t charge visitors, while spectacles such as the Changing of the Guard can also be seen without money changing hands.

Other attractions will charge entry fees, such as the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, Madame Tussauds and the Coca-Cola London Eye, but we promise you they are all worth it.

If you end up finding the hustle and bustle of London’s streets a bit too much and need to take a little break, then its green spaces are all in easy reach. Locations such as Hyde Park and Green Park are ideal for visitors who want a change of pace without being too far away from the city, and a perfect option for activities like picnics.

A host of events

As we alluded to earlier, London regularly hosts a range of major events. This isn’t just sporting occasions such as the FA Cup Final and Wimbledon. For example, high-profile concerts are often staged at places such as Hyde Park and indoor venues such as the O2 Arena.

So whatever you are interested in, we are pretty confident that an event relating to your passions is being staged somewhere in London in 2017.

It means the city is the perfect destination if you want to do more than see the sights and be part of something massive – and maybe see lots of famous faces at the same time!

World-class shopping

Places like Oxford Street, Knightsbridge and Carnaby Street trip off the tongue nicely if you are a shopaholic, such is their fame and esteem among those who can’t resist a spot of retail therapy.

They all make London a fantastic place to visit if you want to pound the credit card. The city is particularly great for anyone who is on the lookout for top-class designer goods, as it’s home to many luxury brands and top-end department stores, such as Harrods.

Great views at every turn

While many cities can leave you feeling a bit claustrophobic, London has countless expansive viewpoints that offer stunning views of its iconic buildings.

The View from The Shard, the Coca-Cola London Eye and the Oxo Tower are three particularly great viewpoints, but you can also take in remarkable vistas from the likes of Blackfriars Bridge and green spaces like Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill.