A Tourism Vision for London outlines how the city can achieve that predicted growth and shares new research revealing some of the fastest growing markets for visitors, including China, India and the UAE.
Specific measures to improve visa processing for the Chinese market are nodded to within the strategy document: such as stated plans for mobile fingerprinting services to be extended to an additional 50 Chinese cities to make it easier for Chinese nationals to apply for a tourist visa.
Spending on tourism in London is expected to grow by almost 50% to £22bn up from £14.9bn in 2016.
London & Partners, the promotional arm of the mayor’s office, will provide more pre-visit promotion and develop infrastructure to enhance business visits to the capital as part of its plans.
Europe is expected to continue to contribute the highest visitor numbers over the next eight years, but China is expected to be the fastest-growing tourism market, given the volume of visits increased by 105% between 2011-2016.
Research revealed that top reasons for visiting London were, after “for a holiday”, “visiting friends and family” – a reason selected by 30.4% of survey respondents.
This reinforces the value of the city’s international education appeal, as parents attending for graduation ceremonies count among this number.
Khan also announced a new version of its Autumn Season campaign to dovetail with the new tourism vision strategy document, aimed at boosting visitors beyond the summer months.
“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,” he said.
“More than ever it is vital to ensure that the capital extends a warm welcome to all guests of our incredible city.”