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Visit London Celebrates Tourism Growth with Star-Studded Ad Campaign

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London’s boasts as the most popular city in the world are pre-mature, but an increase in arrivals is a bright sign for the city which welcomed fewer than expected arrivals after the 2012 Olympics.

— Samantha Shankman

What do London’s mayor, a supermodel, and international chef all have in common? They love London.

Visit London‘s latest tourism marketing campaign stars home-brewed celebrities that have made a name for themselves around the world. Characters including London’s mayor Boris Johnson, model Twiggy, chef Gordon Ramsay, and actress Joanna Lumley talk about their memories and favorite activities in the British capital.

The videos, despite their obvious intention, are refreshing. The celebrities express a real connection with the city and their stories include trips to a museum with their parents or their favorite place to eat after a long trip.

The ads were released to coincide with the release of the city’s latest tourism numbers. London hit a new milestone in 2013 with more than 16 million overseas arrivals in one year, according to the International Passenger Survey.

And according to the Office for National Statistics, visitors to London in the first nine months of 2013 increased 12 percent to 12.8 million tourists.

Find the full “The London Story” ad series below:

The first video is a compilation of all participating celebrities including Mayor Boris Johnson, Twiggy, Gordon Ramsay, and Joanna Lumley.

Model Twiggy says, “I just love cities and London is the best. It’s probably because I was born and raised here and as I keep saying, ‘it’s in the bones, luv!’”

Chef Gordon Ramsay says, “Whenever we are returning from a long trip, the first thing we do is go out for a great curry on Brick Lane which is phenomenal. I’ve been to India but I find curries in Brick Lane better – you can’t beat a good London curry.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson says, “As a kid I loved going to the British Museum. I would spend hours there.”

Actress and human rights campaigner Joanna Lumley says, “I left home and raced up to London. And looking out through the window of this immense city, I was in paradise. I thought it was the best, most exciting thing in the world.”

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