London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, will launch a £10 million international tourism campaign in May to woo visitors from overseas as well as the UK.
His office in City Hall is working with destination agency London & Partners and the wider tourism industry to entice domestic and international tourists back to the capital.
News of the campaign came as the New West End Company said footfall in the West End – London’s shopping, hospitality and theatre district – remains 16% below pre-pandemic levels.
Speaking at London & Partners’ annual Tourism Means Business conference, Khan said tourism supports as many as one in seven jobs in the capital and contributes almost 12% of London’s GDP.
The mayor’s domestic Let’s Do London campaign in 2021 has now generated an additional £81 million in spending and brought 330,000 visitors to the capital
It initially had a budget of £6 million which was boosted by a further £3 million.
This investment comes as London prepares for a range of events in 2022, including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the opening of Abba Voyage, the Uefa Euro Women’s finals, the 50th Anniversary of Pride, the new Laver Cup at the O2, the Wimbledon Championships, and the 10th anniversary of the 2012 Olympics.
Khan, said: “While it is promising to see more and more people visiting the heart of London, I know that it has been, and continues to be, a difficult time for the tourism sector in the capital, which is used to welcoming people from all over the world.
“I’m committed to doing everything I can to get London back on its feet after the pandemic, and I will continue to work alongside London’s businesses and tourism industry to encourage visitors back to our city.
“Now that restrictions for travellers coming to the UK have lifted, London is fully open once more, and our new £10m international tourism campaign will help to ensure we retake our place as one of the most visited cities in the world.”
Laura Citron, chief executive at London & Partners, highlighted the role of the travel trade in London’s recovery, commenting: “The pandemic has shown that resilient destinations are those that welcome visitors from a wide range of source markets – local, domestic and international.
“The travel trade shares London & Partners’ mission to bring visitors back to the city – and their role bringing visitors to London from across the UK is particularly important this year.”
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