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� IN FOCUS l LONDON & THE HOME COUNTIES


Capital L


aunched last month by London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, the Tourism Vision for London is a roadmap for the city over


the next eight years. Despite challenges such as Brexit and terror


attacks, the city’s tourism trade is forecast to continue growing – bringing new jobs but also problems such as overcrowding. Andrew Cooke is acting chief executive and chief operating officer at the mayor’s agency London & Partners – which runs visitlondon.com. He said: “By 2025, it is projected London will


attract more than 40 million visitors a year, 30% more than 2016’s record of 31.2 million overseas and domestic visitors. “The Tourism Vision for London sets out how


this growth can benefit all Londoners right across the city, and potential barriers that could hamper this growth.”


He added that tourism employs 700,000 people in London, and contributes £36 billion a year to the economy, making up 11.6% of the city’s GDP. However, the growth could be hampered by


increased competition from other destinations, and pressure on infrastructure.


gains “As London develops, it is vital it remains a


great place to live and work,” said Cooke. “The mayor’s transport strategy will reduce traffic on London’s streets and create a reliable public transport system that can cope with more passengers, which is also accessible, affordable and safe. “We are also keen for visitors to go to


attractions outside Zone One. For example, our campaigns, such as the Autumn Season and See More London, showcase the best of what’s coming up across the entire city not just in central London.”


� CHINESE MARKET One key inbound market being targeted is the Chinese, whose numbers are predicted to double by 2025. Chinese visitors are particularly


interested in historical sites such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London, and shopping for luxury and classic British brands.


“London is setting itself up


London looks likely to attract more than 40 million visitors annually by 2025 – 30% more than 2016. Andrew Cooke at London &


Partners explained how the capital will cope


well to meet the needs of increasing Chinese visitors, with tourist attractions, luxury shopping brands and hotels offering services including translated audio guides, Chinese-speaking staff, China UnionPay facilities, feng shui rooms and congee at breakfast,” said Cooke. And despite concerns about the impact of


Brexit, London is still expected to see strong growth in visitor numbers from Europe, with inbound arrivals increasing by 32% by 2025 to 16.9 million visits. “Following the UK’s vote to leave the


European Union, we are working hard to get the message out there that London remains open to visitors, businesses and workers from all over the world,” said Cooke. “One of the things the Mayor has done is set up the first ever board of brilliant cultural ambassadors for the capital, who will help futureproof London as a global cultural capital.” � Cooke is acting chief executive while Laura Citron is on maternity leave. londonandpartners.com visitlondon.com


10 TravelGBI | October 2017


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