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London’s tourist economy roaring back to life

After taking a battering during Covid, London’s tourist economy is “roaring back” to life with a surge in visitor numbers according to various reports.

London hotel occupancy rebounded strongly in 2023 but actually overtook pre-pandemic levels for the first time in December 2023, marking a strong end to the year for the hotel industry in general, according to the RSM Hotels Tracker.

Attractions and other tourism businesses across the capital also say they have been delighted by far better than expected visitor numbers after two years wiped out by Covid restrictions and a weak third year that only saw a tentative recovery.

Tom Jenkins, chief executive of European tourism body ETOA, said: “In tourism terms London is broadly back to normal.”

2023 saw visitor numbers jump by two million and the “Let’s Do London” campaign to encourage Londoners and visitors back to the capital’s sights and attractions is separately thought to have brought in an extra £346 million and an additional 850,000 more overnight visitors to the city.

Knight Franks Hotel Trading Review 2023 also said that London’s strong revenue growth significantly outpaced rising costs, to deliver an impressive GOPPAR performance for the 12-month period to September 2023, surging ahead of its 2022 performance by 40%.

Museum’s Still Most Popular Attractions

By visitor numbers Natural History Museum was the most popular tourist attraction, followed by the British Museum, Tate Modern, the Southbank Centre and then The National Gallery although it is suspected that more Londoners than tourists visit these popular attractions.

Dr Alex Burch, Natural History Museum’s director of public programmes, said: “The Natural History Museum is proud to be the UK’s most popular indoor attraction for the second year in a row, welcoming over 4.6 million visitors into our galleries.

The news of London’s tourist economy roaring back to life and returning to pre Covid levels of business comes as a big relief to many Londoners who saw 2020 and 2021 turn London into the sort of ghost town we havent seen since watching Cillian Murphy roam the empty streets in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later.

You only have to see the huge rise in the popularity of Walking Tours and London Taxi Tours answering to the increased demand from a newer type of visitor to London.

Whilst the old favourites such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are still popular for London’s tourist economy, the tour industry has responded to consumer demand and you can now enjoy Ted Lasso themed tours of Richmond, Harry Potter filming location tours and even a London Instagram Taxi Tour, for also those insta likes….

SIMILAR LONDON BUSINESS NEWS – Premier Foods financials continues year on year growth / Heathrow Airport reports record winter / London still losing pubs and restaurants post-pandemic / Travelodge 85th London hotel Underway /

Business Chamber is an online business and small business news chamber, bringing you selected news on wider economic and business events interspersed with SME news and events that usually dont get a look in by mainstream syndicated news outlets.

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