Visitors are beginning to migrate back to London’s tourism spots like the West End, as last week’s ‘Freedom Day’ meant theatres and clubs could throw open their doors for the first time in over a year.
Last week’s heatwave meant locals and visitors alike could make the most out of London’s reopening – before the rains could dampen plans.
Footfall in the area lifted four per cent over the sunny week, the New West End Company found.
The New West End Company, a business partnership of over 600 retailers, found that unsurprisingly the weekend was busiest with a 14 per cent increase in foot traffic compared with the weekend before.
“The removal of restrictions has proved a big hit for the West End, with visitors safely returning to not only enjoy the many retailers and restaurants in the sunshine, but to make the most of the thriving nightlife that is once again open for business,” company chief executive Jace Tyrrell said.
“It has been a relief to see that the perseverance shown by businesses in the district during this difficult time is beginning to pay off.”
While footfall has been on the uplift, the return to pre-pandemic levels of tourism appears to have a longer wait ahead.
“Despite a marked improvement, footfall has still not returned to pre-pandemic levels, and will not for some time.”
The industry boss called for more government support to get retail and hospitality back to running at full capacity.
With no restrictions governing table size or household, the return to full capacity trading is “an achievable goal, but one that will require support to realise,” Tyrrell explained.