By Daniel Hunter
The capital’s official visitor statistics for 2012, one of the most exciting years in London’s history, have been revealed by London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional organisation. The positive figures from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) reveal an increase in both visitor numbers and visitor spend during 2012.
Visitor numbers increased year on year to 15.46 million visitors which is a healthy rise of 1.1% in comparison to 2011. The rise of around 150,000 more visitors over the twelve months is the equivalent of filling two Wembley stadiums.
The increase of 1.1% is seen as exceptionally positive in light of the current economic downturn in many European markets — two-thirds of London’s visitors audience comes from Europe. The much anticipated displacement effect, which many other Olympic host cities have experienced during Olympic years, appears to have been mitigated.
2012 also saw London expenditure rise to £10.08 billion which is an increase of 7.0%. This very robust boost in tourism receipts for 2012, almost two-thirds of a billion pound increase, can be linked to the strong Q3 period which includes the popular summer holiday period, but also the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Figures indicate that international visitors took advantage of the spectacle and atmosphere of the Games.
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