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Weak Pound And Cultural Activities Boosted U.K. Tourism To Record Levels In 2016

British Museum
British Museum

Over 2.3 million U.S. visitors flocked to the U.K. in 2016, lured by cultural experiences and the weak pound sterling. According to the Office of National Statistics International Passenger Survey, that was an 8% increase over 2015 and a 25% increase from five years ago. 

The number of U.S. visits to London is now back to the level it was before the global financial crisis of 2007-08. American visitors took advantage of the 13% fall in the value of sterling compared with the U.S. dollar since the EU referendum, and spent £1.98B, an increase of 9% compared to 2015.

The last quarter of 2016 was particularly strong as tourists took advantage of London offering better value for money than ever before. A record 5 million visitors came during the last quarter of 2016, up 8% from the same period in 2015. During this period, spend increased by 3.7%.

The biggest cultural draw was the British Museum, which welcomed 6.8 million visitors in 2016.