Tourism in London
London is one of the world's leading tourism destinations, and the city is home to an array of famous tourist attractions. The city attracted 19.1 million international visitors in 2016, making it one of the world's most visited in terms of international visits.
Effect on the economy
The tourism sector employed 700,000 people in 2013 according to Deloitte – Oxford Economics, accounting for 11.6 percent of the capital's GDP.
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel located on the edge of the River Thames. It is 135 metres tall and has a diameter of 120 metres. A short walk away, the area boasts the London Aquarium, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Nelson's Column. In 2013, the tallest building in London, the Shard, opened a viewing platform to the public. Other major tourist attractions in London include the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace (although this is only open to the public during a limited number of months in the summer), Tower Bridge Experience, Madame Tussauds, ZSL London Zoo, London Dungeon and St Paul's Cathedral.
The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions indicated that the following were the Top 10 visitor attractions in 2017:
- British Museum – 5.9 million visits
- Tate Modern – 5.7 million
- National Gallery – 5.2 million
- Natural History Museum, London – 4.4 million
- Victoria and Albert Museum – 3.7 million
- Science Museum, London – 3.3 million
- Southbank Centre – 3.2 million
- Somerset House – 3.2 million
- Tower of London – 2.8 million
- Royal Museums Greenwich – 2.6 million
Museums and galleries
There are many museums and art galleries in the London area, the majority of which are free to enter. Many of them are popular places for tourism. In addition to Tate Modern and the National Gallery, notable galleries include Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery.
Parks and open spaces
London attracted 16.8 million foreign visitors in 2013, they accounted for 51.4% of all visitors. Below is the visitors information:
- France 1,904,000
- United States 1,878,000
- Germany 1,295,000
- Italy 1,072,000
- Spain 866,000
- The Netherlands 687,000
- Australia 687,000
- Republic of Ireland 611,000
- Belgium 531,000
- Sweden 516,000
Public transportation is essential in transporting tourists to and from attractions, and deciding the means of and cost of their travel. Public transportation can also be an attraction in itself. London offers many forms of public transportation: the Underground (commonly referred to as the Tube), double-decker red buses, and taxis. Tourists can purchase Travelcards to take the Tube, bus, or overground trains through designated zones. The Transport for London website provides maps, information on line closures, and a "Plan a journey" feature in which one can enter a location and a destination to determine which buses, Tube stations, and walking directions are necessary for a trip.
- "Record Year as 19 million tourists visit London". London Evening Standard. May 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- Simon Kyte (May 2012). Tourism in London (PDF). Greater London Authority. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-84781-496-8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 February 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- Inkson, Clare; Minnaert, Lynn. Tourism Management: an introduction. Sage. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-84860-869-6.
- Le-Klähn, Diem-Trinh. Hall, Gössling, and Scott, ed. The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and Sustainability. Routledge. p. 441. ISBN 978-0-415-66248-2.
- "Discover the London's Best Underground Sights - Fare Buzz". www.farebuzz.com. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- "Visitor tickets". Transport for London. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
- "Transport for London". Transport for London. Retrieved 16 August 2018.