London remains the number one city destination in the world for international travel, according to provisional numbers from the Office of National Statistics. The provisional results, published by the Office of National Statistics, show a record 16.1 million overseas visitors to the capital last year, up nearly 3% on 2006. The total number of visitors to the capital in 2007 was 26.2 million. Total spending by overseas visitors was £8.7bn, up 11.2% on 2006 with total spend, excluding day visits, reaching a record £10.9bn, up 8%. Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Tourism is one of London’s success stories and translates directly into jobs and income for Londoners. “Record overseas tourist numbers demonstrate the impact of London on the world stage and I am delighted with these results.” Visit London chief executive James Bidwell said: “London is the greatest city destination on earth and the latest visitor numbers confirm this. “Record numbers of overseas visitors to our capital together with record levels of spend boosted the economy by an additional £800m last year. Tourism is worth around £15bn a year to London and with 280,000 full time jobs our industry is a key economic driver for the capital. “This is particularly encouraging in the lead up to 2012 when the tourism and cultural sectors will be the primary economic beneficiaries of the Games.” Despite the weak American dollar, spending by US visitors rose 5.3% to £1.6bn, the highest level since 2000. However, the number of US visitors fell by 1.7%to 2.5 million. The US remains London’s largest market followed by France (1.34m visitors) and Germany (1.25m visitors). The results show visits from Europe rose by 2.7%. Other mature markets saw significant rises with Australia up almost 20% with 690,000 visitors. The growing importance of emerging markets was also reflected in the figures: the number of Chinese visitors rose by 37% to 89,000. Visits from India rose by over 3% to 237,000 and for the second consecutive year, Indian visitors to London outspent the Japanese – £171m against Japanese spend of £149m.