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London is the capital of the United Kingdom and is located in the South East of England. The city of London is one of the world most popular tourist destinations where over 30 million visitors around the world come to visit and also one of the centres of finance and trade in the world. London is covering over 1600km2 and its tourist attraction is enriched with the river Thames which flows across the London. (www.mapsofworld.com).
The city consists of 33 London boroughs including the city of London with each borough managed by a local authority. Greater London is composed of Inner and outer London and the population of London is more than 7.5 million. (www.london.gov.uk)
2. Tourist numbers, motivations and generating regions to the destination.
London is a very popular tourist destination with and people come from a great number of countries to visit the capital of the United Kingdom.
Top 10 Inbound Market
Percentage of visitors
Above table contains the percentage of inbound visitors to London in 2009. According to visitengland.org website 29 million people visited London in 2009 and majority of the people are coming from USA and France.
People are visiting London for numerous reasons, but as we can see from table 2, the main motivation to visit London is holidays. In quarter 1, 2011 around 1.4 million visitors came to London and they spend nearly £682 million pounds during their stay.
3. Tourism contribution to the local economy
New international travel figures show that visitors to London spent a record £8.6 billion here last year, as the capital welcomed its highest numbers of tourists and business travellers in four years. (londonandpartners.com). In 2009, there were 10.8 million domestic overnight trips to London, generating a total spend of £2.2bn and 14.2 million inbound visits to the region, together accounting for £8.24bn. (visitengland.org)
Room occupancy in London hotels reached a record-breaking 92.4 per cent in July 2011- the highest figure ever for the capital.( mobile.bighospitality.co.uk)The average cost of a London hotel room is £154.18, compared with £75.72 inÂ Cardiff and £103.86 atÂ HeathrowÂ airport. (thisislondon.co.uk).
Eating out inÂ LondonÂ costs an average of £37.72 per head. The Harden's survey calculates that is how much Londoners pay for a three-course meal including half a bottle of wine and coffee, based on reports by 8,000 diners. According to Harden's at least four London restaurants charge £100 or more for a standard dinner. (thisislondon.co.uk).
According to English Anthropologist Edward B Taylor, culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.
Cultural tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing global tourism markets. Culture and creative industries are increasingly being used to promote destinations and enhance their competitiveness and attractiveness.
We can find lots of cultural attractions in London, including: museums, arts, music, festivals, monuments, foods and many more. These attractions made London one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the world. London has four UNESCO world heritage sites: Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, Westminster Palace, Kew's Royal Botanic Gardens. And also London has cultural centres run by and dedicated to its Polish, Kurdish, Chinese, Romanian, Hungarian, Bengali, Jewish, Somali, Hindu, and Irish communities.
London has 22 national museums and more than 200 other museums. Most of the major venues also have free admission, although voluntary donations are encouraged and special exhibitions often have an admission charge.
Examples of Free London Museums:
Victoria & Albert Museum - Victoria & Albert museum is the acknowledged greatest museum in the world devoted to decorative arts. Exhibits are drawn from around the world, both modern and ancient.
Natural History Museum - The Natural History Museum is the home of the national collections of living and fossil plants, animals, and minerals with many specimens on display.
Science Museum - The Science Museum traces the development of science and industry and their influence on life.
British Museum - One of the world's greatest museums of human history and culture. Its collections, which number more than 13 million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginning to the present.
Museum of London - Largest dedicated museum to London, tracing London from its beginnings to modern day.
Imperial War Museum - The terms of reference of the museum cover both world wars and all military operations in which Britain or the Commonwealth have been involved since August 1914.
Furthermore London has museums with admission charges including:
HMS Belfast - Near Tower & London Bridge: One of the most powerful large light cruisers ever built, HMS Belfast is now the only surviving vessel of her type to have seen active service during the Second World War.
Cabinet War Rooms - Off Parliament Square, Whitehall: The underground war rooms where Winston Churchill directed the 2nd World War whilst London was being bombed during the Blitz.
Tower Bridge Experience - Tower Bridge
London Transport Museum - Covent Garden
There are different types of art galleries in London. Those are Royal Academy of Arts, Tate Modern (The Tate Modern is the world's most popular modern art gallery), Tate Britain, National Gallery, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Somerset House, Hayward Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, Barbican Art Gallery , Serpentine Gallery, Saatchi Gallery. http://www.visitlondon.com/attractions/culture/major-art-galleries.
It is estimated that 200 festivals take place in London every year. It includes the music and dance shows, the food festivals in London, innumerable parties and the fireworks happening in the most renowned venues of the city terms London as a festival city. For example:
Baishaki Mela, the Bengali New Year is celebrated in Brick Lane and is the biggest Bengali celebration outside Bangladesh and West Bengal.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Chinese New Year festival
www.timeout.com/london/feature/1033/london-festivals-2011/ 18.104.22.168/ london_events/festivals.html
London has 40,000 listed buildings and over 150 ancient monuments.
Buckingham Palace is one of the popular landmarks in London and the Queen's official and main royal London home. It has been the official London residence of Britain's monarchy since 1837. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live there, moreover the Changing of the Guard ceremony that takes place in the forecourt each morning since 1660.
Big Ben is the most famous clock face and chimes in the world, Big Ben is actually the name of the biggest bell (13.5 tons) inside The Clock Tower (320ft) which forms part of the Houses of Parliament. Big Ben is not open to the public.
House of Parliament - Palace of Westminster, now more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament. Members of the public can watch debates when parliament is in session. Westminster Abbey is one of Europe's finest Gothic buildings and the scene of coronations, marriages and burials of British monarchs.
British main meals are meat, fish, potatoes, flour, butter and eggs and British are always had meat based traditional meals such as beef, pork, lamb, chicken and fish. These meals usually served with potatoes and some other vegetables. But currently curry is the most popular dish in England. And also sandwich, fish and chips, pie, pastries, trifles and roasts dinners are some other typical fast foods user by British. Bubble & Squeak and Toad-in-the-Hole are some of the strange main dishes that British have.
London is a multi-cultural city, so, there are people with many different faiths. Throughout the city you will find places of worship for almost every religion. For examples, St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, Buddhapadipa Temple, Swaminarayan Hindu Mission, East London Mosque, Jewish Liberal Jewish Synagogue.
2. The social features of the destination.
Social is related to the society or its organizations. A society is the place where we live. And it also includes culture, language, race, and religion. Within a society, there can be many different cultures. (EzineArticles.com). Over 250 languages are spoken in London, making the capital the most linguistically diverse city in the world.
The 40 most common languages spoken are
Bengali & SilhetiÂ
Tamil (Sri Lanka)
Sinhala (Sri Lanka)
Â Numbers have been rounded up or down to the nearest 50 Â
Source website: Baker, P. and Eversley, J. (eds) (2000) Multilingual Capital, London: Battlebridge. http://www.battlebridge.com/mutliculutralism.htm
The range of restaurants in London reflects the true diversity of England's capital city. Any cuisine or dining experience can be found with relative ease. Many celebrity chefs have their flagship restaurants in London. For diners looking for such a location, there are plenty to choose from. Gordon Ramsay's flagship restaurant on Royal Hospital Road boasts an impressive 3 Michelin stars. http://www.bookatable.com/uk/london/restaurants .
3. The physical features of the destinations
The physical feature can be either natural or man-made.
Natural attractions in London
Part of London since the days of Henry VIII, Regent's Park is one of the largest green areas in the city and home to a variety of attractions.
One of the most famous parks in the world, Hyde Park is a large green lung in the center of London. It first opened to the public in 1627. The park has lots of open space and a large lake.
St James Park
London's St James's Park is the oldest Royal Park in the city and the site of many special events. The 23-hectare (58 acre) park boasts beautiful gardens, a lake that's home to local waterfowl, and lots of wide open space.
The history of Kensington Gardens started in 1689, when King William III and Mary II bought the Nottingham house in Kensington. The house was turned into a palace by Christopher Wren and the 12 acre (5ha) large garden was enlarged by Queen Anne, partly by acquiring 100 acres (40 ha) of Hyde Park in 1705.
Until the mid-19th century, the land that now makes up the park was owned by a family who had built a large mansion on the property, known as Holland House.
The home was built in the grand Jacobean style, typical of the second phase of Renaissance architecture in England
Battersea park was a popular Victorian Londoners relaxing place which was designed by Sir James Pennethorne in 1858. Park is situated away from the crowed city and its "romantic gardens, a lake and waterfalls". There are many other beautiful sculptures in Battersea Park such as "Henry Moore's Three Standing Figures", "Nicola Hicks' Brown Dog", "Pump House Gallery". Pump House Gallery is a contemporary visual arts space with 4 floors which was built in 1861. "Temple of Peace" is one of the most eye-catching peaceful place in the park with 110ft high statue of Lord Buddha.
Covent Garden is known for its many open-air cafés, restaurants, pubs, market stalls and shops. Famous are the many street performers who entertain the visitors on the pedestrianized piazza. A former floral market now houses the Theatre Museum and the London Transport Museum. The Covent Garden district is also home to several theatres and the Royal Opera House.
Source : http://www.aviewoncities.com/london/londonattractions.htm
When comparing with the natural attractions, we can find lot of many man-made attractions inside the city of London. Some of the man-made attractions are listed below;
The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster, known as the Big Ben, is one of London's most famous landmarks. At the time the tower was built in 1858 its clock was the largest in the world
London's Tower Bridge is one of the most recognizable bridges in the world. Despite being disliked by many when it was built in 1894 the bridge soon became one of the London's most famous landmarks
The London Eye is a giant observation wheel in the center of London. Since its opening in 2000 the 30-minute 'flight' offers visitors great panoramic views over london
Tower Of London
The Tower of London was built at the end of the 11th century by William the Conqueror. The fortress houses a famous collection of jewelry including the Imperial State Crown
Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament, the seat of Britain's two parliamentary houses, was built in 1870. The enormous building is best known for its iconic clock Tower, the Big Ben
One of London's most popular tourist attractions, Buckingham Palace is the most famous of all the palaces in London. The palace is still used as the official residence of the Queen
Construction of the Westminster Abbey started in 1050 and spanned 8 centuries. The abbey serves as a burial ground for many famous monarchs, scientists and artists
Madame Tussaud's display of wax figures has been fascinating visitors since the first exhibit was held in 1835. The museum is still one of the city's most popular attractions
St Paul's Cathedral
The majestic St. Paul's Cathedral was constructed between 1675 and 1711 by Christopher Wren who designed world's second largest dome; it was only eclipsed by the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
London's largest museum features one of the world's most impressive archeological collections. Its Parthenon Galleries and the impressive Egyptian collections are some of the highlights
Natural History Museum
London's popular Natural History Museum, housed in a large 19th century landmark building, has an enormous collection of all things regarding life on earth.
Source : http://www.aviewoncities.com/london/londonattractions.htm