Visitor International arrival numbers are on target to match levels posted pre 9/11 in 2004 in what is shaping up to become a bumper year for London, according to the July edition of London Monthly Trends.
Inbound visitors to London grew by 10% during Q1 2004, with just over 2.5m international visitors coming to the capital during this period. Expenditure by visitors during Q1 2004 was estimated at £1.3bn, up 11% on 2003.
Terminal passengers at London airports have progressively grown each month during 2004; the use of low cost hubs at Luton and Stansted, the increasingly success of City Airport, and the continued popularity of Heathrow are all contributing factors.
London hotels have recovered steadily since the outbreak of war in Iraq. May and June were excellent months for London hotels. According to PKF, occupancy levels rose by 12.7% and 5.4% respectively over last year while average room rate and yield also increased sharply. Compared to the rest of the UK, hotels in London are significantly outperforming their regional rivals.
Overall, the number of visits made to major free museums in London equalled 2.13m in May, up 0.9% compared to last year. Attendance levels are still on target to match the record numbers posted in 2002, when over 27m visits were made to free museums in London.
Retails sales in Central London during May increased by 4.6% compared with May 2003. London sales continued the 2004 trend of outperforming the rest of the UK during the month, especially during the later sunny periods on July.
All major markets experienced growth, with North American arrivals particularly strong.
David Campbell, Chief Executive of Visit London, said: ‘We are delighted with these results; we are beginning to really see the fruits of our labour in our target markets, particularly in Europe and the States. London continues to inspire, excite and entice visitors time and time again and we will continue to work hard to ensure that visitors make the most of their time in our vibrant capital.’