More than three quarters of the 30 million people who visited the UK in 2009 were repeat visitors, according to a new study. The report by VisitBritain will give organiser of the 2012 Olympics a boost – as one of the key arguments for holding the event is that it will promote return visits. The figures, gathered from interviews with 50,000 overseas tourists as part of the government’s International Passenger Survey showed that 77% had been to the UK at least once in the previous 10 years - and often many times. Patricia Yates, VisitBritain’s director of strategy and communications, said: ‘’Considering the number of worldwide destinations available to overseas travellers, and the fierce competition for overseas visitors, it is very encouraging to know that that 77% of the 30 million overseas tourists who came to the UK last year had already visited in the last ten years and chosen to return to Britain. “It is an important sign that Britain is to generate a sustained uplift in tourism after the Olympics.’’ Separately, it was also revealed that London has been named World’s Leading Destination at the World Travel Awards for the fifth time, following a rise in international visitors to the capital this year.