Beating the likes of famous cities such as Paris, Rome and New York, London has hit the top spot on TripAdvisor after the analysis of millions of visitor reviews ranking restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions.
Jumping from sixth position in 2015’s Travellers’ Choice Award, London ranked eight spots ahead of its US counterpart New York and is now the only destination in the world to have secured the top ranking, having also reigned supreme in 2012.
The 2012 Olympics saw London pushed as a tourist destination and the number of visitors has skyrocketed since. 17.4 million overseas travellers made their way through Britain’s train stations and airports in 2014, making it the city most visited by international vacationers.
Mayor Boris Johnson voiced reasons as to London’s top ranking: “London is undoubtedly the cultural capital of the world thanks to our iconic attractions, buzzing entertainment scene and amazing museums and galleries. Coupled with our abundance of top-notch hotels and restaurants offering every cuisine one’s taste buds could desire; it is no wonder London has been named the best travel destination.”
Tripadvisor stats saw London attracting far more reviews than anywhere else (with just over one million) marking a rise of 43% on 2014. London’s attractions ranked highly, with an average score of 4.404 out of 5, followed by restaurants with 4.013 and hotels at 3.996.
On the whole, Covent Garden was the most reviewed area. For a sumptuous meal, Belgravia rated most highly for restaurants, Spitalfields for attractions, and Westminster for hotels.
The birth of Princess Charlotte in May 2015 is said to have contributed to London’s renewed popularity as many travellers are fascinated with the British monarchy as they are the ultimate celebrities – an obsession in modern culture.
Furthermore, the Rugby World Cup and prestigious exhibitions such as Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty saw a surge in visitor numbers and McQueen’s show was the V&A’s most successful event in the museum’s history.
It is suggested that the number of travellers visiting London will swell again this year, with the Queen celebrating her 90th birthday and the opening of the highly anticipated West End show Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.
Visit London, the mayor’s official promotional company for the city are said to be “delighted” with the results. Director of Strategy, Brand and Communications at the promotional organisation, Chris Gottlieb, comments, “London boasts an unrivalled mix of history, cutting-edge contemporary culture and a rich calendar of special happenings to entice international visitors and encourage online reviews.” He continues, “Our latest tourism campaign, Fans of London, will shine a spotlight on some very exciting events to come, including the celebrations around 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy and the first international exhibition of the Rolling Stones, Exhibitionism.”