Domestic tourism is vital to London’s economy. According to Visit Britain data, London attracted over 12m domestic overnight visits in 2019. We do not yet have data for 2020 domestic visits.
My international promotion agency, London & Partners, has been working closely with central government to support their ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign to encourage domestic visitors from the rest of the UK to visit London.
London & Partners are also targeting local audiences with their ‘Because I’m A Londoner’ campaign. Research from previous health crises shows that this audience are the first to return to retail and leisure venues, and it is therefore important to encourage them to safely explore the city and provide a boost to London’s tourism economy.
Until tourism returns to pre-pandemic levels, and to support the long-term recovery of London, the tourism sectors reliant on the income from visitors will need ongoing Government support. City Hall analysis of forecasts by VisitBritain show overseas tourists will spend £7.4 billion less on goods and services in London’s economic and cultural centre in 2020, while domestic tourists will spend £3.5 billion less. This is in comparison to the financial impact of the fall in commuters – which is a £1.9 billion loss in spending (£1.4 billion from commuters living in London and £0.5 billion from those outside).