Sadiq Khan unveils major tourism campaign for London after reelection as mayor

10 May 2021, 06:14 | Updated: 10 May 2021, 17:37

By Asher McShane

Sadiq Khan has unveiled what he describes as the "biggest domestic tourism campaign the capital has ever seen" after his reelection as Mayor of London.

Mr Khan, 50, will formally sign in for a second term on stage at Shakespeare's Globe this morning, where he will unveil the Let's Do London campaign aimed at encouraging people from London and elsewhere in the country to come back to the capital's shops, restaurants and attractions.

The £7 million-plus programme, which has been developed and funded in partnership with the city's hospitality, culture, and retail industries, is aimed at bringing in a wealth of domestic tourism to help London's economy get back on its feet as Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

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City Hall analysis of forecasts by VisitBritain showed that consumer spending in central London by overseas tourists was £7.4 billion lower throughout 2020, while domestic tourists will have spent £3.5 billion less.

Sadiq Khan wants to encourage people back to London's shops and tourist attractions
Sadiq Khan wants to encourage people back to London's shops and tourist attractions. Picture: PA

The campaign will include celebrations of London's world class food offerings, to a variety of new public art installations - including a redesign of Transport for London's iconic 'Hockney Circus' roundel in a special artwork from David Hockney.

In summer, the city's museums, galleries and cultural and grassroots music venues will have extended opening hours, while major creative festivals such as London Fashion Week will return to the capital in autumn.

More features of Let's Do London will be announced as the campaign continues to develop.

Mr Khan will stress that the programme has been developed with Covid safety protocols in mind, while urging Londoners to take up the vaccine as soon as they are offered it.

As well as launching Let's Do London, Mr Khan will confirm getting Londoners back into work as a top priority.

Mr Khan is expected to say: "Today I am at the iconic Shakespeare's Globe to launch 'Let's Do London' - the biggest domestic tourism campaign London has ever seen to champion our businesses, cultural institutions and attractions that have suffered so much during the pandemic.

"This is about getting the message out to Londoners and people across the country that our capital stands ready to entertain, inspire and enthral once again.

"Our new campaign is bringing together many of the capital's leading organisations and venues to offer an unparalleled experience for anyone visiting the capital throughout the year.

"With restrictions on international travel likely to continue this year, Londoners and visitors from the UK have a unique opportunity to experience all the capital has to offer without the queues. In doing so you'll be providing vital support for our world-leading venues as they start to re-open and need our help more than ever."

He will also outline his mission for his second term as "creating a fairer, greener and more prosperous city, where everyone gets the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential".

"As well as focusing on the urgent task of London's recovery and investing in jobs and skills, I promise to continue putting everything I have into tackling the long-standing issues that matter most to Londoners, including making our streets safer, building more affordable homes and tackling the twin emergencies of air pollution and climate change."

Bernard Donoghue, Director Association of Leading Visitor Attractions & Co-Chair, London Tourism Recovery Board, said: "London's visitor economy has been hit hard over the last year and we've all missed our theatres, museums, galleries, performances venues and heritage properties. Without them London has just felt less 'Londony'. But this Summer we can reclaim, rediscover and fall back in love with these special places.

CEO of UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls, said: “It is incredibly encouraging that the Mayor has wasted no time after his re-election to make tourism a clear and immediate priority. The ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign is a shot in the arm to help revive the capital’s ravaged visitor economy. “With such limited international travel, the immediate priority is to remind Britons that one of the world’s top tourist destinations is on their doorstep. We look forward to working with the Mayor and his office to revive employment, hospitality and tourism in London.”