London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with a history stretching back to Roman times. At its center stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower, and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex and the entire city
London is one of the world’s major tourist destinations and in 2015 was ranked as the world’s most visited city with over 65 million visits. It is also the world’s top city based on visitor cross-border spending, estimated at the US $ 20.23 billion in 2015. Tourism is one of London’s major industries, employing the equivalent of 350,000 full-time workers in 2003, and the city has a share of 54% of all incoming visitor spending in the UK. As of 2016, London was the top city destination in the world.