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Travel exhibition showcases London as a destination

We know the Olympics gave the captial a huge boost in tourism, but how can that surge be sustained?

Well for the next few days London's economy is set for a multi-million pound boost, simply by hosting an exhibition.

That exhibition brings together 180 countries all showing off their tourist credentials - so can the capital compete with the likes of Floridia and the Carribean? Dan Hewit has been finding out.

Owner of London attractions to float

The London Eye on the Southbank, which is owned by Merlin Entertainments Credit: Reuters

The company which owns many of top tourist attractions has announced plans to float on the stock market.

Merlin Entertainments, which owns the London Eye, Madame Tussads and legoland is believed to be worth as much as 3 billion pounds.

The public will be able to buy shares in the company, which will enable it to pay down debt and plan for future development.

The company generated revenues of more than £1 billion last year and is Europe's leading visitor attraction operator and the second largest globally after Walt Disney.

'Palpable buzz' of London attracting record numbers

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "Last summer the palpable buzz of this great city was beamed across the globe. Since then London's draw has gone from strength to strength with billions of pounds of international investment and huge regeneration projects continuing apace.

"These fantastic tourism figures not only support new jobs and growth in London's economy but are yet another testament to the Olympic legacy."

Olympic rings seen during the Olympic Opening Ceremony
Olympic rings seen during the Olympic Opening Ceremony Credit: Press Association

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Record number of London tourists

New figures show a record number of visitors to London so far this year. 7.9 million flocked to the capital in the first six months of 2013, a 7.7% boost on the same period last year.

The figures from the latest International Passenger Survey also reveal 12 times as many tourists visited London as the next most popular UK city, Edinburgh.

The capital's skyline
The capital's skyline Credit: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

London is favourite European city

London was voted best European city in an Ipsos Mori poll Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire

London is beaten only by New York as the world's favourite city, according to a worldwide survey.

The capital was also voted the top European city in a poll of people from 24 countries by Ipsos Mori.

London was second to New York in the favourite city category Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Of the 48 cities which people were asked to judge, London and New York were the only two to make the top five in each of the categories in the survey.

London was second to New York in the favourite city category, while the UK was third in the best-place-to-live category,

Ipsos Mori chief executive Pen Page said: "The citizens of the world have spoken and given a massive vote of confidence in London and the UK.

"Together with positive signs for the UK economy and London generally, and after a brilliant Olympics in 2012, this survey reaffirms London as not only the most important city in Europe, but also affirms Britain continuing to punch above its weight globally."

London is UK's top city for tourists

Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge in the summer Credit: Robert Knight/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

London accounted for more than half the visits overseas tourists made to the UK last year, according to latest figures.

15 and a half million visitors ventured to the capital in 2012, statistics from VisitBritain showed.

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