updated 4/29/2009 10:51:18 AM ET 2009-04-29T14:51:18

London officials say the number of foreign visitors to the British capital fell 3.6 percent last year, with particularly sharp drops in Japanese and American tourists.

The official agency Visit London said Wednesday the number of Japanese tourists who stayed at least one night fell by 24 percent last year, and U.S. numbers dropped by 18 percent.

The number of Italians, however, rose 18 percent and French numbers increased 5 percent.

The agency added that the number of Britons visiting the capital rose 11.5 percent.

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