The Mayor of London and visitlondon.com today launched a bold new vision to accelerate the capital’s status as a world-class tourist destination. Tourism numbers in London are set to rise sharply, with more than 40 million people expected to visit the city by 2025, an increase of 30 per cent on the 31.2 million visitors who came to the capital in 2016.
The Tourism Vision for London, which is backed by more than 100 industry partners and supported by the Mayor of London, also projects visitor spending to grow by almost 50 per cent to £22 billion a year, up from £14.9 billion (2016).
However, the tourism vision states that the growth in visitor numbers is not a given with increasing competition from other destinations, particularly emerging markets that are fighting to attract new visitors.
There are four recommendations:
- Invest in more pre-visit promotion to attract more first-time visitors and the boost numbers travelling in off-peak periods
- Invest in information and the visitor experience to allow people to explore more of the city
- Ensure London can sustain and accommodate growing numbers of visitors through investment in cultural infrastructure, improving visitor amenities and harnessing digital technology
- Develop the infrastructure for business visits to ensure the city remains attractive for event organisers and delegates
The Tourism Vision for London and this year’s Autumn Season were launched last night by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at an event at the Natural History Museum.
The Mayor commented: “London is the world’s greatest city, so it comes as no surprise that we lead the way when it comes to international tourism. Visitors to the capital bring huge benefits – the industry boosts London’s economy, as well as supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and showing the world that London is an open, welcoming and diverse city.
“It’s important that all Londoners benefit from a growth in tourism. By inspiring visitors to come to our great city during quieter periods like autumn and to find hidden gems off the beaten track, we can ensure that the projected growth in visitor numbers is sustainable and that the tourism and cultural industries work for everyone.
“London’s Autumn Season will show visitors what it is like to explore the city like a Londoner, whether that’s finding the capital’s secret treasures or visiting its world-leading exhibitions and shows. More than ever it is vital to ensure that the capital extends a warm welcome to all guests of our incredible city.”
This year’s Autumn Season will shine a spotlight on the best events taking place across the capital in the months ahead. It will also give people the chance to experience the city like a Londoner with the help of special guides including: vocalist and broadcaster Jumoké Fashola, author and fashion historian Amber Buchart and Blue Badge Tour Guide, David Mildon.
Jumoké Fashola says: “London is an incredible place to visit – no matter the time of year, it breathes excitement. It’s an open city that smiles and always has something to give. Culture is embedded in its very fibre – and I can’t wait to perform at the London Jazz Festival, now in its 25th year. Whether it’s art, drama, theatre or dance – London’s Autumn Season has something for everyone.”
Other highlights of this year’s Autumn Season include:
- This Is Rattle at the Barbican, which marks Sir Simon Rattle’s first season as Musical Director of the London Symphony Orchestra
- Dance Umbrella’s Origami at Battersea Power Station and four other Thames-side locations
- The Museums at Night festival
- The MTV European Music Awards
- NFL returns to London for four games at Wembley and Twickenham in September and October
The Autumn Season was formally opened at the Natural History Museum last night. Hosting the event, the museum’s Director, Sir Michael Dixon, said: London’s Autumn Season is a brilliant way of showcasing the vast array of cultural attractions the city has on offer to an international audience and we are delighted to be part of the campaign. We’re very pleased that one of London’s biggest new stars, our blue whale skeleton Hope, has had the chance to preside over the launch event in our spectacular, newly reimagined Hintze Hall.”
visitlondon.com has created a series of films starring Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Londoners from across the capital as they explore the remarkable events that make London a must-see destination to visit this autumn. Watch now at visitlondon.com/autumn.