Mayor of London proposes further £10m to attract more tourists back to London

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan proposes £10m to attract more tourists back to London

Related tags: Mayor of london, Sadiq Khan, London, Coronavirus

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced proposals to invest an additional £10m to attract more tourists back to the capital, including launching a new international tourism campaign.

The proposals, which have been described as 'exactly the sort of support the hospitality and tourism sector needs' by a leading sector trade body, includes a further £3m investment in Khan's 'Let Do London’ initiative, which launched last year and, according to the Mayor of London's office, has so far brought an additional £70m in spending and 280,000 visitors to the capital.

It comes on top of the £6m originally invested in the scheme, and will be used to drive confidence in London as a destination and promoting cultural and sporting activities happening in the capital this year.

Khan will also invest £7m in a dedicated international marketing campaign to drive international tourists to London from this spring, which will be led by London’s business growth and destination agency, London & Partners, alongside the domestic marketing campaign.

This campaign will encourage international tourists to return with confidence to London now that travel restrictions are easing around the world.

“London’s amazing hospitality, retail, and cultural sectors have faced an existential threat from the impacts of the Covid-19, but now that restrictions for travellers coming to the UK have been eased, London is fully open once more and ready to retake its place as one of the most visited cities in the world,” says Khan.

“There is no doubt that the return of international tourism will be central to London’s economic recovery.”

Last month, the Mayor revealed that it could take until at least 2025 for domestic and international visitor overnight numbers to return to the levels seen in 2019, with spend predicted to take until 2026 to surpass pre-pandemic levels.

“This is exactly the sort of support the hospitality and tourism sector needs in order to recover from the pandemic and attract people back into the capital,” says Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality.

“London has so much to offer domestic and international tourists, as brilliantly showcased by the 'Let’s Do London' campaign, and is crucial to driving economic recovery, not just in London but beyond.

“Visitors to London go on to spend over £640m in local economies outside of the capital and, prior to the pandemic, 15% of overseas visitors to London came as part of wider trip to the UK, so this benefits the whole of the country.

“Businesses in our sector remain in a fragile state, carrying crippling debt and facing a barrage of rising costs across the board. Initiatives that help drive footfall such as this will be vital to our recovery. However, remaining an attractive destination for both international and domestic visitors will become more difficult if the planned VAT rise in April goes ahead and so we are urging the Government to commit to keeping it at its current 12.5% level permanently.”

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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