The Mayor of London and visitlondon.com has launched a 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% on the 31.2 million visitors who came to the capital last year.
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% to £22 billion a year, up from £14.9 billion (2016).
Some of the fastest growing markets for visitors to London by 2025 are China (103% growth), India (90% growth), the USA (43%t) and the UAE (43%). London’s tourism industry is worth 11.6% of the capital’s GDP and 9% across the UK as a whole. The sector employs 700,000 people in London – equivalent to 1 in 7 jobs.
The Tourism Vision for London and this year’s Autumn Season were recently launched by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at an event at the Natural History Museum.
The tourism vision makes 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 Mayor said: “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.”
Culture, the arts, history and heritage are the number one reason visitors come to London. As the capital launches its annual celebration of the blockbuster exhibitions, performances and events that make up the Autumn Season, additional data from Google shows that the city’s West End theatres form a big slice of online searches for culture in the capital.
According to Google the musical Hamilton, which is a jewel in the crown of this year’s Autumn Season, is the most searched for UK musical globally this year.