London visitor numbers continue to improve in May

14 July 2004
London visitor numbers continue to improve in May

The recovery in London's tourist market continued during May although at slower pace than previous months, according to new figures from Visit London.

The tourist board's monthly visitor index (which is based on leading visitor surveys) came to 71 points out of a potential 100 in May, down from April's visitor index of 89/100 but a huge improvement on the 35/100 reported from May 2003.

The index breaks down into four quarters, which are rated "awful" and "mediocre" below 50 points, and "good" or "utopia" above 50.

The inbound visitor market remained buoyant in May, with the number of overseas visitors almost 30% higher than a year ago. Much of the growth was driven by tourists from Western Europe and increasing numbers from long-haul markets.

Forward bookings also increased in May, rising by 19.8%.

However, the number of domestic visitors to London fell thanks to the unsettled weather and hikes in interest rates.

Visit London said it was proving difficult to prise UK visitors away from the special deals they now regarded as the norm.

by Angela Frewin

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