London set another tourism record in 2014 with 17.4 million international visitors to the city, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey (IPS).
During this period the city hosted numerous exhibitions and events, including Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs at the Tate Modern, Ming: 50 years that Changed China at the British Museum, Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy, Sherlock Holmes at the Museum of London, the Frieze Art Fair, the Tour de France Grand Départ, Wimbledon Tennis Championships and the Chelsea Flower Show.
A record 58 million people from the UK and overseas visited the city’s 40 most popular tourist attractions last year, up four percent compared to 2013, according to the Attractions Monitor, a detailed visitor survey compiled by London & Partners, the Mayor’s international promotional company for the city.
Driven by the 100th Anniversary of World War I, one of the most significant trends was an increase in people visiting military exhibitions, which rose by 22 percent to 3.6million. The Tower of London’s Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red had more than 5 million people visiting the display. Maritime attractions, such as the HMS Belfast, also increased 13 percent to 3 million visits.
This year, London will host exhibitions including Goya: the Portraits at the National Gallery, No Colour Bar at the Guildhall Art Gallery, The World Goes Pop at the Tate Modern, and the phenomenally popular Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the V&A. The city will also host Formula E, the NFL International Series, and some of the biggest matches in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.