LONDON, January 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
The winner of an international search to find London's Official Guest of Honour, who will embark on a unique two week trip to the capital packed with a series of extraordinary experiences, is announced today.
The campaign, which has captured the imaginations of people across the world, will see 24 year-old US citizen Adaeze Uyanwah travel to London next month to enjoy a once in a lifetime trip, during which she will be hosted by some of the capital's most famous residents at the city's most iconic visitor attractions.
The announcement comes on the day the United Kingdom's Office of National Statistics released new information showing that more international travellers are coming to London and the rest of Great Britain than ever before. Last year a record 16.8 million international visitors came to London but the new figures put the city on course to top this number.
International tourists made nearly 13.5 million trips to the city in the first nine months of 2014, a six per cent increase when compared to the same period in 2013. Visitors to London also spent a record £8.9 billion, an increase of 6.5 per cent on the same period last year.
Total international visits to the United Kingdom are up six per cent (26.4 million) and spend is up four per cent (£16 billion) when comparing the first nine months of 2013 to 2014.
The USA and North America are the UK's and London's most valuable tourist market by volume and by spend. In the first nine months of 2014 the number of North American visitors to London remained high at nearly 1.9 million with these visitors spending up to £1.45 billion.
Now, Guest of Honour Adaeze, a primary school teacher and aspiring screenwriter from Palmdale, California, will visit some of London's world famous attractions and immerse herself in the vibrancy and diversity of the city. Visitlondon.com, in partnership with VisitBritain and the UK Government's GREAT Britain campaign, will be rolling out the red carpet for Adaeze who will:
- Visit the Science Museum with renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking
- Have afternoon tea at Lord's Cricket Ground with Downton Abbey's butler Carson - actor Jim Carter
- Open Tower Bridge, the most famous bridge in the world
- Be taken on a tour of the Royal Opera House by world-famous singer and conductor Plácido Domingo and British ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell
During her two week stay in London, Adaeze is particularly looking forward to visiting the Houses of Parliament but will also be venturing outside of the capital, including on a trip to Wales.
Adaeze, who will travel to London with her mum, Faye, and stay in a luxurious suite at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Mercer Street, said: "I cannot express how excited and happy I am to be coming to London! Winning this competition feels like a dream come true - like something out of 'Charlie and The Chocolate Factory'.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "This great prize encompasses everything that makes our city truly outstanding and I hope Adaeze enjoys every second. I look forward to welcoming our Guest of Honour to London and hearing about her science trip with the great Professor Stephen Hawking and tour of our historic corridors of power at the Houses of Parliament.
Gordon Innes, Chief Executive London & Partners, said: "The latest tourism figures show that London is continuing to build on its success and people are travelling from all over the world to experience what this incredible city has to offer. We are confident this year will be another bumper year for London's tourism sector as the capital continues to put on world-class exhibitions and events such as the Rugby World Cup."
Over 100,000 people registered on the Guest of Honour website and 10,000 people submitted entries which included a short film and describing in 70 words their perfect day in London.
To find out more go to http://www.visitlondon.com/guest or follow Adaeze's journey live @LondonGuest
Notes to Editors:
IMAGES AND VIDEO
A high resolution image of Adaeze and a video of her reaction to the news of her winning is available at
SOURCE London & Partners