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Sunny 2013 boosted tourism

A large increase in visitors at tourist attractions across the capital is being put down to last year's fine summer.

Figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) show a 12% increase in 2013 - double the rise seen across the rest of the UK.

The British Museum was named the most popular visitor attraction in the country for the seventh year running. It had its most successful year on record, with a 20% increase in its visitor numbers to £6.7 million.

A spokesman for ALVA said: "Exhibitions such as 'Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum' undoubtedly had an impact on numbers, as did the success of 'Ice Age Art: arrival of the modern mind' and 'Shunga: sex and pleasure in Japanese Art'.",

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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 Credit: Press Association

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 Credit: John Walton/EMPICS Sport
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