International travel to Manchester, England, rose by 15 percent in 2011, according to recent figures issued by British tourism agency VisitBritain.
Due to a number of special attractions last year, including the 2011 Manchester International Festival that was headlined by international pop sensations Bjork and Damon Albarn, along with football matches at the Old Trafford and an increasing number of high-end boutique stores, Manchester welcomed about 125,000 more visitors than in 2010.
"These results confirm international visitors who might come here because of the global appeal of London are starting to appreciate our vibrant cities outside the capital, and the very different offerings of Edinburgh, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester," sai Patricia Yates, strategy and communications director for VisitBritain.
Manchester remains the third most visited place in Great Britain, behind London and Edinburgh. The majority of international traffic in 2011 went to the waterfront mall and entertainment building known as The Lowry, along with the Museum of Science and Industry as well as the indoor ski facility, Chill Factore.
Nearby Liverpool also saw an increase of 15 percent in foreign visitor numbers.