The city will welcome 18.82 million international visitors this year
It’s near impossible to list all of London’s most iconic attractions: Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the 176 night bus, Morley’s Chicken Shops, Danny Dyer, pigeons with feet like rotten vegetables; you don’t have to leave the capital to have an amazing adventure. But you will have to battle with some 18.82 million international overnight visitors to the city, a number that makes London the most popular travel destination in the world.
This is the fifth year in seven that England’s proud capital has topped the list, once again using stiff upper lip to see off challenges from the likes of Bangkok (2nd) and Paris (3rd). The biggest upset falls across the Atlantic, where New York slips to a lowly 6th.
Mayor Boris Johnson had this to say: “I’m delighted that London has proudly held on to this coveted title, as we celebrate another triumphant and record-breaking year for tourism in the city.
“With its unrivalled mix of history, culture, culinary gems, and cutting-edge creativity, I’m confident that these accolades will keep coming as the capital continues to surprise and excite visitors from all over the world.”
Reports that he celebrated the victory by ripping off his shirt and making love to a Hackney carriage remain unconfirmed.
The news might not be so welcome to locals who have a long summer ahead of being tripped by wheelie cases, stuck behind tourists doggedly swiping their travelcard on the Oyster readers, and losing eyes to stray selfie sticks.
The Global Destinations Cities Index provides a ranking of the 132 most visited cities in the world, which will enjoy combined traffic of 382.9 million visits and spending of £236 billion, according to the report. Travel is bigger business than ever.
Here’s the complete top 10.
London – 18.82 million visitors.
Bangkok – 18.24 million.
Paris – 16.06 million.
Dubai – 14.26 million.
Istanbul – 12.56 million.
New York – 12.27 million.
Singapore – 11.88 million.
Kuala Lumpur – 11.12 million.
Seoul – 10.35 million.
Hong Kong – 8.66 million.
Somewhere on the list take your fancy? Jump on over to our Book section and get travelling!