Why is the London eye important to London?

The London Eye was built as part of the city's millennium celebration just before the year 2000 along with such other city features as the Millennium bridge which crosses the Thames between St. Paul Cathedral and the Tate Modern. While originally the London Eye, built by British Airways, was meant just for the millennium celebration, it proved to be such a popular tourist destination, and such an important revenue stream, that it has remained open. In June 2008, the site welcomed it's 30 millionth visitor.