Tourist London

Tourist London

London has been a destination for visitors from abroad for many centuries, but it was during the 20th century that the tourist industry became a significant part of the capital's life and economy.

The development of modern tourism in Britain began in the 1940s with the growth of air travel, although at first, the opportunity to fly was available only to the rich. Working-class families tended to holiday at home. In Britain, for example, they travelled by road and rail to the coast, particularly holiday camps such as Butlins or Pontin's.

By the 1990s, travel had become available to ordinary people in all countries, thanks to new transport infrastructure such as the building of the Eurotunnel and the shrinking price of air travel. Many people could afford to visit London for the day and return home the same evening.

During the last years of the 20th century, London attracted 30 million tourists a year who, between them, spent 15 billion. Britain as a whole raised an annual total of 75.1 billion through international and domestic tourism. There were an estimated 1.4 million jobs in the British tourist industry, which amounted to 5% of national employment. Most of the overseas visitors came from the United States, followed by France, Germany and Ireland. People aged between 16 and 34 made half the visits.

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