With nearly 40% of Londoners born outside the UK, it’s no surprise that London is known as the international capital. In recent years, it has also displaced New York as “The Greatest City in the World”. Let’s take a look at this global city in more detail.
Whether it’s with visitors who’re simply looking to see the sights, or with those looking to call the city home, London is an undeniably popular destination for international visitors.
In 2014, the city received 17.4 million overseas visitors – which, based on arrivals, made it the fourth most visited international destination in the world, after Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. Last year, London attracted a record number of tourists, with 31.5 million people visiting the capital, a 20% increase on five years ago.
On a global scale, London received 1.6% of all international visitor arrivals in the world. Planning your next trip? International visitors to London are at their peak between July and September.
In comparison to the rest of the UK, London accounts for 50% of all overseas visits to the country, with 12 times more visitors than the next UK city. Unsurprisingly, France is London’s largest market, accounting for 11.5% of all overseas visits.
Looking at London’s student population, over one in four students attending the city’s higher education institutes are from outside the UK, contributing £3 billion to the economy. Of this, the largest contributor was China, with an estimated spend of £407 million.