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New vision for London tourism unveiled by Sadiq Khan

LAUNCH: Mayor Sadiq Khan at last night's London’s Autumn Season launch at the Natural History Museum in London

THE MAYOR of London and launched a bold new vision to accelerate the capital’s status as a world-class tourist destination last night. The vision will be communicated through the London’s Autumn Season campaign, which will showcase the best events taking place over the coming months and cement the capital's reputation as a leading cultural 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). The surge in visitor numbers could be bolstered in the short-term by currency fluctuations, and according to separate research from London & Partners around two thirds of international visitors say they’re more likely to visit London given more favourable currency rates.

London & Partners’ findings coincide with data from Google that reveals the capital is the most searched for global destination for city and short breaks. According to Google, London leads worldwide searches for city and short breaks ahead of Barcelona, Rome, Paris and Amsterdam, with the overall number of searches up by 17 per cent on year-on-year. London also tops Google’s search rankings for global cities to fly to.

VIEWS ON THE CITY: Singer and journalist Jumoké Fashola, left, with a student from east London's Gumley House Convent School enjoying the London Eye

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. 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.”

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