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Re-elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announces plans for biggest domestic tourism campaign

Sadiq Khan will this morning formally sign in for a second term as Mayor of London on stage at the iconic Shakespeare’s Globe, as he announces plans for the biggest domestic tourism campaign the capital has ever seen to help London’s economy get back on its feet as COVID restrictions are eased. He will be joined at the Globe by award-winning British actor and director Adrian Lester. london tourism campaign

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In his speech this morning, Sadiq will confirm that a top priority for his second term as Mayor will be ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’, standing up for the Londoners who lost their jobs during the pandemic and helping to skill up Londoners to get back into work. Sadiq will also confirm that as well as focusing on the urgent task of London’s recovery and the need to invest in skills and jobs, he will continue to prioritise the long-standing issues that matter most to Londoners: safer streets, more affordable housing and action to tackle air pollution and the climate emergency.

An immediate priority for the Mayor will be his new ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign, launching today, which is being created in partnership with the city’s hospitality, culture, and retail industries. The flagship campaign to encourage Londoners and visitors back into central London will include a programme of one-off special events created in partnership with London’s best-known cultural institutions and tourism attractions. It will kick off later this month with the capital’s famous chefs, foodies and hospitality venues coming together to promote and celebrate London’s world-class food offer.

There will be new exciting public art installations to attract people back into London from this month. David Hockney, one of the UK’s most influential living artists, has redesigned TfL’s iconic roundel ‘Hockney Circus’ in a special artwork as part of a takeover of Piccadilly Circus Station, starting today. Turning central London into a huge outdoor art gallery, award-winning London designer Yinka Ilori is leading on ‘Asphalt Art’, a series of major new temporary streetscape commissions in central London and the City of London, in partnership with the London Design Festival and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative.  london tourism

There will also be a transformation of road crossings and street furniture in the West End, with a partnership between Royal Academy artists and the Heart of London Business Alliance Art of London programme, and multi-award-winning artist and designer Es Devlin will plant a living forest at Somerset House for this year’s London Design Biennale.

Alongside the excitement of the delayed UEFA Euro 2020, a season of summer family fun will make London a great choice for a staycation. From Alice in Wonderland at the V&A and Fantastic Beasts at the Natural History to the Royal Opera House ‘Unlocked’ taking over the Covent Garden piazza. ‘London Lates’ over the summer months will see extended opening across museums, galleries and cultural and grassroots music venues. Shakespeare’s Globe, for example, will stage ‘Midnight Matinees’ with performances starting at 11.59pm, and an invitation to get back to the big screen will see outdoor film screenings curated by BAFTA and the British Film Institute.

The Autumn will welcome back major creative festivals, such as London Fashion Week, Frieze London, the London Design Festival, and the 65th BFI London Film Festival, before the return of major events and attractions over the winter.

There will be further exciting announcements across the year to showcase London’s world class nightlife, cultural attractions and hospitality businesses as well as the city’s grassroots venues and how creative freelancers, artists and performers will be at the heart of the programme as it continues to develop.

The Mayor has allocated £6 million to directly support the new campaign, in addition to industry contributing over £1 million in funding and value-in-kind. The campaign will include a major advertising push supported by London & Partners and TfL, alongside new content on the Visit London website outlining all the campaign has to offer to Londoners and visitors to the capital. It will include a new TfL campaign launching next month, involving TV and poster advertising, that will encourage people to rediscover London by public transport.

To ensure London re-opens safely, the capital’s venues are doing a huge amount of work to ensure they follow COVID guidance – including new queuing systems, staggered arrival times, and a variety of social distancing measures. The Mayor continues to urge Londoners to show caution and follow the rules when out and about, wearing a face covering in shops and other indoor venues, carrying hand sanitiser, and keeping to social distancing. He also continues to urge Londoners to take up the vaccine as soon as they are offered it.

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s an honour to have been re-elected with a huge mandate as Mayor of the city I love – the greatest city in the world. The work begins anew today to refresh and reignite our city and to kick-start our economy as London continues to reopen.  This includes making jobs, jobs, jobs a top priority and banging the drum for London to attract the jobs, tourism and investment our city needs.

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.

“My mission over the next three years is to put the dark days of the pandemic behind us and to deliver a better and brighter future for London – 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.”

British actor and director, Adrian Lester CBE, said:“This has been the toughest year in decades for our incredible cultural and creative sectors but I’m certain that London’s theatres, music venues and cultural attractions will be vital to London’s economic recovery from Covid-19 this year.

“It is exciting to see the Mayor and so many of the capital’s venues come together to put on a truly wonderful programme of events and activities that should encourage people back into London in large numbers. 

“As creative artists we depend enormously on our fans and the visitors who want to see us perform. I have no doubt that at the heart of London’s recovery this year will be people flocking back to our cultural venues”

Neil Constable, CEO of Shakespeare’s Globe, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sadiq Khan to be signed in for his second term as Mayor of London and to launch this vital ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign to encourage the successful reopening of venues, hospitality and leisure activities.

“We at the Globe are eager to see domestic tourists return to our theatres and our bar and restaurant The Swan. With shows, talks, educational activities, tours, a shop, and food and drink, we have so much to offer visitors returning to the capital. From May 19, we reopen with A Midsummer Night’s Dream and we look forward to welcoming audiences in safely to enjoy the thrill of live theatre at last.”

With restrictions on international travel likely to continue over the coming months, attracting domestic tourists back to the capital – whether for day trips or overnight stays – will be vital for supporting London’s economy as COVID restrictions are lifted. The ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign will continue throughout the year urging non-Londoners to consider the capital for mini-breaks where they might have once automatically booked the countryside or headed for the coast.

London’s economy has always relied on huge levels of both domestic and international tourism – but that has virtually dried up due to the pandemic. 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.

Shakespeare’s Globe, where the Mayor is today being signed in and launching his new campaign, will reopen with A Midsummer Night’s Dream on May19 and has confirmed that it will be continuing to run its wide range of education activities as well as the return of its ever-popular ‘Midnight Matinee’ performances starting at 11.59pm. The original Shakespeare’s Globe itself was closed for long periods during pandemics in the 16th and 17th centuries but survived. It was reborn as a symbol of our city’s resilience and remains an important cultural landmark for people across the world.

Partners who are coming together to support the ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign include: Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), BAFTA, BFI, Barbican, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Capital & Counties, City of London Corporation, Central London Alliance, Discover South Kensington, English National Opera, Exhibition Road Cultural Group, Film London, Frieze London, Grosvenor Estates, Heart of London Business Alliance, Heathrow Airport, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Historic Royal Palaces, London Councils, London Design Festival, London First, London Fashion Week, London Symphony Orchestra, London Tourism Cooperative, London Tourism Recovery Board, Marriott International,  Merlin Entertainments, Museum of London, National Gallery, National Theatre, Natural History Museum, New West End Company, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Photo London, PPHE Hotel Group, Roundhouse, Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Opera House, Royal Parks, Sadler’s Wells, Science Museum, Shaftesbury, Shakespeare’s Globe, Society of London Theatre, Southbank Centre, Tate, The Crown Estate, V&A, Visit Greenwich, Westminster Council, Whitbread, UKHospitality, ZSL London Zoo, South Bank BID.

More details about some of the exciting events planned in London throughout the year can also be found on the Visit London webpage:

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, performance 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. london tourism campaign

They will all be contributing to a Summer and a year like no other when the visitor experience will be phenomenal, the welcome never warmer and the importance of London’s attractions, culture and tourism economy never better appreciated. We thank the Mayor, his team and partners for all they have done in working with us to help London recover better. Let’s Do London.”

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.”

Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive at New West End Company representing Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Mayfair said: “With international travel still uncertain and domestic lockdown restrictions lifting further over this month and next, London and UK visitors will be able to enjoy the very best of the capital, without all the overseas tourists, with its truly remarkable retail, leisure, hospitality and cultural offering – a summer like no other. london tourism campaign

“The Let’s Do London campaign celebrates London as a destination in itself and will help attract our much-missed customers to the capital. In the West End alone, we are home to utterly brilliant hotels, galleries, flagship stores, Christmas light displays and art installations; so our big, bold unambiguous ask is come and support the West End as one in ten Londoner’s jobs depend on it.” ‎

Merlin’s UK Marketing Director & Chair of the London Recovery Board Marketing Directors Group Sara Holt, said: “Merlin has been involved with the Mayor’s “Let’s Do London’ campaign from the beginning and is focused on enticing overnight domestic tourists from outside the capital. This campaign is critical to helping attract visitors back to our amazing city. Research has found that for every £1m invested in advertising outside London, 1,200 jobs are secured in London.”

Yinka Ilori, artist and designer, said: “Super excited to be part of the Asphalt Art project and really looking forward to creating something magical that brings people from around the world together.”

Es Devlin, artist, designer and Artistic Director for London Design Biennale, said: “When I was first shown around Somerset House many years ago, I discovered that the Enlightenment principles on which the building was conceived, specifically forbade the introduction of trees into the courtyard. Of course, the first thing we wanted to do when considering this year’s Biennale was to counter this attitude of human dominance over nature, by allowing a forest to overtake the entire courtyard. In literature forests are often places of transformation: the forest of Arden in Shakespeare, the enchanted forests of the Brothers Grimm. The UN Global Goals offer us clear ways to engage and alter our behaviour and it is our hope that an interaction with the Goals in the forest will be transformative.” london tourism campaign

 Kate Garvey, Forest for Change Executive Producer and Co-founder of Project Everyone, said: Forest for Change, Global Goals Pavilion at the London Design Biennale will be one of the first large scale public events to be held in the city since the start of the pandemic. London has a pivotal role to play as we look to a new future – it is recognised around the world as a beacon for creativity, innovation, and diversity. As one of the world’s leading global cities, I can think of no better home for the biggest ever UK Global Goals activation than London.” london tourism


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