Britain's first urban cable car eyes more international tourists

LONDON, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Britain's first urban cable car service, which flies over various landmark tourist attractions across the River Thames in London, is bracing for more international visitors during the peak tourism season in summer.

The Emirates Air Line, also known as the Thames cable car, is a ten-minute gondola lift cable link above the River Thames.

Serving both as a transport facility for commuters and a leisure attraction, the gondola lift offers spectacular views of London's iconic buildings, including the St. Paul's Cathedral, the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the Olympic Stadium, the Old Royal Naval College and the Shard, which is a 95-storey Skyscraper and the tallest building in western Europe.

The cable car service, first opened in 2012 and operated by Transport for London (TfL), is introducing new packages this summer for international tourists and domestic commuters alike to help them explore "a unique part of London," said Danny Price, TfL's head of the Emirates Air Line.

He said that the service, with nearly half of its passengers being Londoners, is exploring more options to encourage international visitors.

The Emirates Air Line has teamed up with Thames Clippers, a popular river bus service in London, to create attractive joint packages to fly over and glide down the River Thames.

A new in-cabin "feature tour" has also been created to draw on the vibrant history and massive development of the area, which is close to London's major financial center Canary Wharf.

As Britain's first urban cable car, it has provided over 4 million passenger flights so far, and is an important new transport link to support regeneration of east London, according to the operators of the service.

Britain is seeking to become one of the most welcoming destinations in Europe for overseas visitors, particularly for those from China.