London Development Agency
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Tourism plan aims to maximise opportunities from 2012 Games

The Mayor of London has today published London’s tourism vision for taking full advantage of the huge opportunities for the capital’s economy arising from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It aims to strengthen the capital's position as the world’s most popular destination for visitors.

The London Tourism Action Plan 2009-13, produced by the London Development Agency, sets out how it will deliver the Mayor’s key priority of ensuring the capital remains the number one choice for international travellers and that the city provides an inspirational experience for everyone in the capital during the 2012 Games.

In 2006, a 10-year vision for tourism in the capital outlined how London was to achieve number one status with targeted, innovative, competitive and dynamic marketing. Most importantly, it committed London to become a city that welcomes the world. The Plan 2009-13 will support the delivery of this vision.

The Plan’s key priorities until 2013 are to:

- Support jobs in the industry by increasing trade through campaigns like ‘Only in London’; through opening up hospitality opportunities to local job seekers through the London Employer Accord’s partnership with the hospitality sector, and improving customer service standards using the Games as an inspiration.

- Deliver and promote a world-class sense of ‘welcome’ by developing plans to recruit up to 12,000 Host City Volunteers during the 2012 Games. The trained Host City Volunteers will be on hand to welcome visitors at airports, mainline train and tube stations, as well as at key attractions, to help tourists enjoy their visit.

- Capitalise on the 2012 Games to ensure London maintains its position as a leading destination for international leisure and business tourism. Initiatives include developing an Olympic Park Events Plan and publishing a new guidebook for disabled visitors.

- Exploit the spotlight of the Games to grow London’s reputation as a premier global sporting, cultural and business events city by supporting bids to bring major events to London like the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

"In 2012, London will welcome thousands of visitors and it is essential that the capital gives them, and the millions who come before and after the London Games, an unforgettable experience. We must continue work to develop London's tourism offer and work closely together to ensure that visitors, particularly our 2012 guests, have a great time. I want visitors to London not only to return home telling all their friends and relatives about our wonderful capital, but also to start planning their next trip to the best city in the world."

The London Development Agency (LDA) consulted with over 100 industry experts to ensure that the Plan reflects and complements the ongoing work of the capital’s tourism industry. Key projects are now being delivered that are attracting visitors to the capital and improving their experience of the city. The ‘Only in London’ £2 million international marketing campaign to boost the number of overseas visitors to the capital is already paying off. An initial investment of £600,000 between December and March from the LDA and four central London boroughs generated an economic benefit of £11.4 million.

Peter Rogers, Chief Executive of the London Development Agency, said:

"We are delighted that the LDA’s strategic outlay into ‘Only in London’ has boosted the capital‘s tourism economy and infrastructure during these difficult times. We welcome the support that we’ve had from the tourism industry in developing the London Tourism Action Plan."

Sally Chatterjee, Interim CEO, Visit London said:

"London is the world’s most visited city and it is important that we maintain this position in the run up to and after the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The LDA's Tourism Action Plan is an important part of the successful promotion of London and will continue to add value to the tourism industry across the capital."

London Councils’ Chairman Councillor Merrick Cockell said:

"Tourism plays a vital role in the capital’s economy, so we are fortunate that there are so many wonderful things to see and do across London from the bigger attractions through to some hidden gems that can be found from borough to borough.

"While the recession presents many challenges, the London 2012 Games offer us an unprecedented opportunity to showcase our city on an international stage. London’s boroughs are determined to play their part, and we are working closely with the Mayor and the LDA to encourage even more people to visit and enjoy our fantastic city."

Tourism is a key driver of London’s economy with nearly 15 million overseas visitors and over 11 million domestic visitors in 2008. The industry helps support 253,000 jobs and resulted in £22 billion of visitor expenditure in the city. While much of the capital’s tourism activity happens in inner London it has a significant impact on the capital as a whole with the outer London boroughs receiving over 30 per cent of overall visitor spend.

  

ENDS

For further information contact Louise Laing at the LDA Media Team on 020 7593 8104 or email louiselaing@lda.gov.uk. Out of hours 07977 439 371.

Notes to Editors

1. London Tourism Action Plan is based on findings from visitor research and initial discussions with key people in the tourism industry. It can be found at http://www.lda.gov.uk/server.php?show=ConWebDoc.1513

2. The Action Plan was informed by findings from visitor research and consultation with the capital’s visitor industry, local authorities and key trade associations. These discussions highlighted the support for marketing campaigns to help overcome the challenges faced by London’s business community in the current economic downturn alongside initiatives to raise the city’s visitor welcome in the run up to 2012.

3. Over the four years of the Plan the key actions that will assist in delivering the above priorities are:

- Delivering marketing activity in both leisure and business markets that provide rapid economic return to the city in line with the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Plan

- Promoting London as a unique destination offering history and heritage alongside a vibrant, ethnically diverse and contemporary culture

- Maximising the global media opportunities for a destination focus in 2012

- Developing a seamless Host City Welcome in the lead up to and during the 2012 Games that fits with the overall ‘Welcome to Britain’ programme

- Encouraging tourism businesses to become more accessible to those with special access needs

- Communicating the range of transport facilities available to visitors across London

- Promoting the development and delivery of a World Class customer service standard for 2012 and beyond.

 4. In 2008 London accounted for over half of all spend in the UK by overseas visitors, 20 % of the national stock of hotel bedrooms and more than half of the top ten charging visitor attractions. For all of these reasons, it is critical that London delivers a top-quality visitor experience, because what happens here has a huge impact on our visitors’ abiding impressions of the UK as a whole.

5. The LDA estimates, using experimental results from an omnibus survey of the UK population, that around 200 million tourism day visits are made to and within the capital for, amongst other attractions, the shopping, art exhibitions, theatre and historic sites (based on tourism day visits defined as trips of at least three hours duration and not taken on a regular basis).

6. The emotional call of ‘Only in London’ captures all of the truly unique experiences that the city has to offer from culture, heritage, fashion, music, shopping, sightseeing and much more. It’s a celebration of the diverse attractions and experiences that this thriving, multicultural, 24-hour city has to offer. The campaign has now been rolled out to key European markets and North America in recent months.

7. The London Employer Accord is a venture that started in 2008 to bring together employment and skills organisations across the capital to align the skills of local people with the needs of business.

8. Further details on how Londoners can become City Host Volunteers will be announced in 2010.

9. The Olympic Parks Events Plan will set out the potential of the Park to host major events before and after the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be announced at the end of the year

  

For further information please contact: Louise Laing, Press Officer on 020 7593 8104 or out of hours on 07977 439371.