Evening Standard Comment: Let’s make London the summer destination

Evening Standard Comment
·1-min read

Travel the world and people’s faces light up when they hear you are from London. The capital is seen as exciting and historic. Brexit has even hammered away at the unfavourable exchange rate.

This year, with few countries on the green travel list, the cost of tests and the queues at Heathrow, many Brits will be holidaying at home while foreign tourists stay away.

In August, this city empties as we holiday abroad and the international tourists arrive. Not so this summer. Boosting domestic tourism will be vital for our London economy. Visit Britain forecasts inbound tourism for 2021 will be less than a third of the 2019 level.

We need to pull together to show all those who have missed a year of theatre, art, dining out and all the incredible attractions London has to offer that this is the place to book a hotel. Who wants more walks in the countryside when you’ve done that for a year?

The Mayor’s £6 million investment directed at the reopening of central London’s economy is a good start but not enough. We need a huge concerted and streamlined effort from the Mayor, local councils, cultural institutions and Visit London to ensure this is a bumper home tourism year.

Let’s make this the summer of alfresco London — dining, events and live theatre. It is time to be truly imaginative and see our city swing again.