London Eye Attracts More Tourists Than Taj Mahal, Pyramids

by VR Sreeraman on Oct 12 2009 3:35 PM

The London Eye also known as the Millennium Wheel is said to attract more tourist than the Taj Mahal and Pyramids of Giza.

Despite the city going through a financial meltdown last year, the London Eye still made record profits of 25 million pounds.

The Eye has had some 35 million people visiting it ever since it opened in 2000, and Merlin Entertainment said the 135-metre wheel, London's fourth highest structure, attracted 3.85 million passengers in 2008.

David Sharpe, divisional director for Merlin Entertainments London, said the London Eye had become a "global icon" over the past 10 years.

"Since opening in 2000, the London Eye has welcomed more than 35 million visitors - that is more visitors a year than the Taj Mahal and Pyramids of Giza and a true testament to its success," Sky News quoted him as saying.

"The London Eye has become a global icon, recognised the world over and this New Year's Eve will be celebrating its 10th anniversary," he said.

A surge in European visitors and an increase in the number of passengers booking pods for special occasions were among the factors hailed for the surge in profits.

The figures, which cover the year to December 27, show total revenue was up 6 percent at 52million pounds and revenue per visitor up 8 percent.

A half-hour trip on the London Eye, which can carry 800 passengers on each revolution, costs 17.50 pounds for adults.

He said the owners were "pleased" with the London Eye's financial performance.

"Figures to date for 2009 have been encouraging in the first three quarters of the year, helped by a strong euro and UK visitors staying at home, planning days out in London," he added.