Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has revealed plans to launch a £5m tourism campaign to encourage people back to the capital post-Covid.
The money will be used to bring domestic visitors and tourists back to London in a safe way to help aid the recovery of the hospitality, retail and cultural sectors when pandemic restrictions start to ease.
Khan said that “the safe reopening of Central London will be fundamental to the long-term future prosperity of the capital.”
Plans could include ‘major events that showcase London’s public spaces and cultural riches’, with more details set to be announced on what this would look like.
Sadiq Khan said: “I am determined to do everything I can to help our great city recover as quickly as possible from this appalling pandemic.
“Crucial to that will be the safe reopening of central London and attracting Londoners and domestic visitors back to our amazing restaurants, pubs, cultural venues and of course our major shopping districts like Oxford and Regent Street and Covent Garden.
“London has always been one of the most visited cities in the world and my proposed investment will help to support central London as it begins to recover.
“In the longer term, we look forward to welcoming international visitors back once again and I have called upon the Government to fund a major international tourism campaign with London as the gateway to the UK.”
The news will be welcomed by London hoteliers, who have suffered greatly during the pandemic due to the sharp drop-off in international visitors, a decline in business travel in part to increased home working and the closure of theatres and nightlife venues.
A report last month commissioned by the mayor found that tourist spending in central London had fallen by over £10bn in the last year.