Even the hugely-popular Tutankhamun exhibition has failed to stop tourist numbers to London slumping 4 per cent in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest figures from Visit London.The number of foreign tourists rose 6 per cent in the first six months but total numbers were down 7 per cent in the second half - and for the year the figure was down 4 per cent overall. For 2007 overall, the number of foreign visitors was down 4 percent on 2006 to 25.5.
The biggest fall came from North America, where the weak dollar and the credit crunch resulted in a 9.5 per cent drop in visitors. European visitors, buoyed by a strong Euro, dropped on 0.1 per cent, while visits from elsewhere fell 2.8 per cent. The amount spent by visitors to London last year did rise 3.4 per cent to £10.4bn, compared with 2006.
Visit London also report further signs on a slowdown, saying hoteliers growth rates are slowing and visitors are trading-down to cheaper accommodation.