“By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.”Samuel Johnson
That’s true indeed! This fabulous European city can be enjoyed and admired from every aspect. Having tremendous tourism potential, it’s guaranteed that the capital of the United Kingdom satisfies all tastes and is suitable for everyone.
It’s a gem for arts and culture lovers with a nonending list of museums, including the Natural Museum of History, The Tate Modern and The British Museum. Also, Literature and book enthusiasts cannot miss its gigantic libraries and top it off with visiting the house where Shakespeare was born. Not only do history or architecture fans enjoy these attractions, but probably everyone visiting this beautiful city must stop at the Tower of London, the London Eye, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace and take a look at these architectural wonders.
With more than 3000 parks and open green spaces, Europe’s greenest city has landscapes from a fairytale at which you can rest from your long tour or just spend the day relaxing and enjoying the stunning views at The Royal Parks.
Additionally, London welcomes visitors not only for tourism but also for business, education, or just shopping. It is suitable for every occasion, every age and every taste; it’s a dream city for all purposes.
But before packing, here are some of London’s top tourism statistics and some facts you would want to take a look at whether you’re planning your next trip to London or not!
London’s Top Tourism Statistics
- London was the most visited city in the UK in 2021.
- As evidence of the importance of the tourism industry for the economy, it contributes 12% of London’s GDP.
- The level of overseas visits from Londoners reached almost 40.6%.
- In 2019, overseas visits reached almost 21.7 million, but unfortunately, in 2021, this number fell to 2.7 million (Source: Statista). The tourism industry levels didn’t return to normal as they were before the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19).
- In 2019, international air travel hit up with 181 million travellers from London’s airports.
- The most used airport in the UK is London Heathrow Airport by international visitors. The airport received over 11 million non-UK arrivals in 2019. The other two most used airports in the UK by international visitors are London Gatwick and London Stansted.
- In 2021, there was an increasing number of bed nights in popular European city destinations, after the drop-down in the year before, 2020, due to the (Covid-19) pandemic (Source: Statista).
- London registered almost 25.5 million bed nights in 2021 (Source: Statista).
- London international visitors spent almost £ 2.7 billion in 2021. This number dramatically dropped by 83% compared to 2019 (Source: Statista).
- London receives eight times more visitors than the second most visited city (Source: Condorferries).
- An average of 63% of London visits are for vacation. (Source: Condorferries).
- Museums in London are the most popular tourist destination. 47% of tourists stated that for them, London is always linked to museums (Source: Condorferries).
- The total number of inbound and domestic tourist visits declined sharply in 2021 compared to 2019 due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
- The number of nights in the city dropped in 2021 compared to 2019 because of the pandemic. Generally, inbound overnight stays in the renowned UK destination totalled around 31.3 million in 2021, dropping from almost 119 million in 2019. Meanwhile, it declined by 87% over the same period (Source: Statista).
- With over 40% of the total international tourist visits in the UK in 2021, London was listed as the most visited destination in the United Kingdom. Before Paris and Istanbul, London was ranked that year as a leading European tourism destination, considering the number of bed nights.
- Overseas arrivals dropped by 87.5%, totalling 2.72 million in 2021.
- The number of visitors spending in the capital city totalled £2.104 million in 2019.
- The number of visits to London’s attractions in 2019 was 7.44 million. Still, unfortunately, it dropped to 1.56 million in 2020, affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
- London receives nearly 30 million tourists annually (Source: Condorferries).
- The number of languages spoken in London exceeds 250. English comes in first place, followed by Bengali.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still, have questions? We’ve got you covered! Here are the answers to the enquiries you probably have in mind!
How Much is Tourism Worth in London?
The city supports the tourism sector in the United Kingdom. It is the primary gateway for international travellers visiting the UK and ranked as a leading UK city for international tourism in 2021; its inbound visits were more significant than all other major destinations (Source: Statista).
However, most inbound visits are for leisure; the city is also an essential business tourism hub and was listed among the leading destinations for business conventions worldwide in 2021. Moreover, it was ranked the most visited city by digital nomads globally in March 2022, before Bangkok, New York City, and Berlin (Source: Statista). The city was listed among the top 5 most popular cities worldwide in 2019, with 19.56 million tourists. In addition, there were 18,530 accommodation businesses in the UK in 2020. The tourism economy in London City contributes £36 billion a year to the economy overall with over 700,000 employments.
When is it Best to Visit London?
It’s best to visit London in autumn and spring; when the weather is excellent, the temperature is moderate, and the flowers are blooming. At that time, the city is not as crowded, and you can roam as freely as you desire in the destinations you aim to visit.
How long is the average trip to London?
Tourists’ average trip lasts 4.6 days (from 4-5 days). However, depending on your preferences, you can enjoy your stay for extended periods according to your plans and purposes. For tourists who are visiting for leisure and it’s your first time there, a trip of 5 days is recommended.
How frequently does it rain in London?
It rains quite frequently there, but no worries! Usually, it is only a drizzle, so don’t let it affect your enjoyment of the beauty and splendour of the city. It rains the most in August, with around 100 mm of rain level. If you’re not a fan of the rainy weather, you better schedule your visit in December, when it rains the least. Just in case you’re not the type of person who would dance in the rain, do not forget to pack your umbrella.
Most Visited Attractions
The town is an iconic tourist destination full of attractions for every taste. From historical and cultural spots to floury landscapes, everyone will enjoy his stay to his preferences. There are always tons of events and exciting activities that will keep everyone busy during the whole trip. Whether you’re a solo traveller or going on a family trip, there is no doubt that London is a perfect destination. Here are some attractions to start your trip with.
Buckingham Palace is the royal family’s official residence and is in the City of Westminster. If you’re looking forward to spending a day in a royal lifestyle, you need to start your trip at Buckingham Palace.
It is open for visitors during summer and on other selected occasions. There are 19 State Rooms for tourists to roam through. The rooms are decorated with detailed and intricate treasures from the Royal Collection. The royal palace tour can take between 2 and 2.5 hours to get enough time to take a look at all the rooms (Source: Visitlondon).
The Natural History Museum is in South Kensington. It is ranked as the most visited attraction in the capital city in 2022. According to The Association of Leading Visitors Attractions, The Natural History Museum welcomes 1,571,413 visitors in 2021, making it “The Most Visited Indoor Attraction” in The United Kingdom.
The British Museum can take you on a trip of culture and art through the ages. With 1.3 million visitors, The British Museum was the Most Visited Art Museum in 2021.
The Tate Modern Museum is embellished with over a hundred years of art. From contemporary to international modern art, the museum houses pieces that will leave you in awe. In 2021, the museum welcomed over 1.16 million visitors, which is 0.27 million fewer than the reported visitors in 2020.
Gardens and Parks
London is Europe’s greenest city and one of the world’s greenest cities, with more than 3000 parks and green spaces. The mind-blowing landscapes and greenery that cover the city make it an ideal destination for nature lovers.
From relaxing and enjoying the landscape and amazing views to riding your bicycle, with this massive number of parks and gardens, there are endless activities for everyone. We recommend you start at Royal Botanic Garden Kew or The Royal Parks.
Although exploring London can go on forever, we have reached our last stop on our journey. Have a nice trip!