Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow are emerging as new “formidable rivals” to traditional tourism cities London and Edinburgh, according to VisitBritain. Despite an upsurge in visits to the regions, London still came top in the analysis of overnight stays by overseas visitors in UK cities between 2006 and 2009. Looking at all types of visits, London has an average of 15m international visitors staying in the city each year, followed by Edinburgh with 1.3m. VisitBritain said Manchester, with its “ultra-modern new landmark buildings such as the Lowry Centre, a cool art and culture scene and world-class sport” was third with 900,000, while Birmingham’s ‘outstanding and hip arts and exhibitions’ helped attract 737,000 foreign visitors.” VisitBritain’s analysis was based on the Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey, which questions 50,000 travellers a year.