London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has redoubled his commitment to boost tourism in the capital as new data has revealed the number of West End visitors is still lagging 16 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.
Whilst this is an improvement on last year’s figures, Khan has pledged to work alongside London’s businesses to bring people back to the capital.
As part of plans to push tourists back to the city, the Mayor is working alongside London & Partners and the wider tourism industry, investing £10m into an international campaign boost.
It comes after Khan’s domestic ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign has now generated an additional £81m in spending and brought 330,000 visitors to the capital.
Tourism supports as many as one in seven jobs in the capital and contributes almost 12 per cent of London’s GDP. So whilst, the mayor said it was “promising” to see people returning to the heart of London, he acknowledged it remains a “difficult time” for business.
In particular, international visitors to London play a vital role in supporting the city’s tourism industry, as well as hospitality and cultural venues across the city.
In 2019, 84 per cent of overnight tourism spend in London came from international visitors, compared to 37 per cent for the rest of Great Britain. These sectors were badly impacted by the pandemic.
This investment comes as London prepares for an exciting array of events this year, including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee,the opening of ABBA Voyage, the UEFA Euro Women’s finals, the 50th Anniversary of Pride, the brand-new Laver Cup at the O2, the Wimbledon Championships, and the 10th anniversary of the 2012 Olympics. The team at London & Partners continue to bid for more events for the years to come.
Laura Citron, CEO at London & Partners, said: “This year will be pivotal for London’s tourism industry as we look to attract international visitors back to the city following the lifting of travel restrictions. From the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations to the return of sporting events and music and cultural festivals, there is so much for visitors to look forward to in London this year.”