London's Tourism Industry
London is the most popular tourist destination in the whole world, attracting around 30 million visitors from other countries each and every year. People travel here from every corner of the globe to admire London's many impressive monuments, explore the richly vibrant culture of the city and perhaps take in a theatrical performance in the West End. In addition, a total of roughly 26 million overnight visits are made to London each year, and these overnight visits are mostly made by people living in other parts of the United Kingdom.
Revenues generated by tourism in London comprise approximately 10 per cent of the city's gross value added income, and it is projected that tourists in London spend approximately £15 million per year. This figure includes all aspects of the tourism industry, such as accommodation, transportation, eating out and attraction entrance fees.
Around 13 per cent of the people who work in London are employed by the tourism sector in one way or another. This figure is predicted to rise dramatically as London's tourism sector has been working hard to raise the city's profile as an important and exciting tourist destination.
Buckingham Palace is by far the most popular tourist attraction in London, as it attracts around 15 million tourists each year. Many people travel to Buckingham Palace to watch the world famous event known as the 'changing of the guard', and this event is so famous that it even inspired a song by Bob Dylan. The ceremony officially takes place at 11:30 each day and takes a total of half an hour. However, visitors who want to get a good view of this exciting event will need to arrive just before 11:15 or even earlier if possible. Although Buckingham Palace is still officially a royal residence, some of the palace's lavishly decorated rooms are open to the public during the summer months, when special guided tours are conducted. Don't forget to visit the famous Green Park and St James' Park whilst you're in the vicinity.
The Victoria and Albert Museum also attracts large numbers of tourists all year round. This museum is located in the Kensington area of London and is actually the biggest museum of its kind in the world. The museum opened to the public back in 1852 and contains a permanent collection of more than four and a half million objects.
Another of the city's most famous landmarks is the British Museum, an estimated average of just under six million people visit the British Museum each year. One of the reasons for the popularity of the British Museum is that entrance is free, while this prominent establishment is also open seven days a week. The British Museum, situated close to Tottenham Court Road and Holborn tube stations, contains a collection of some seven million exhibits, and some of the most popular include the Lindow Man, the world's oldest mummy and the Rosetta Stone.
Many of the city's other famous attractions are situated along the banks of the River Thames. These include the Tower of London, where tourists flock to admire the impressive Crown Jewels of England. The nearby Tower Bridge also attracts large numbers of visitors, while tourists who walk along the riverbank will also be treated to views of the impressive Houses of Parliament building with Big Ben nestled next to it.
Literary lovers are drawn to the important literary exhibits housed inside the British Library, situated in Kings Cross. These include a large selection of original manuscripts of world famous classics such as Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Other exhibits of interest include William Shakespeare's autograph and the Magna Carta.