Let’s Do London domestic tourism campaign encourages visitors back to the capital

London & Partners and the Mayor of London joined forces with London’s tourism industry to launch the latest stage of the Let’s Do London campaign to encourage visitors from around the UK back to the capital following the pandemic.

The new campaign is encouraging people from across the UK to visit and make the most of the capital’s cultural gems and unique attractions.

Data from Springboard shows that footfall across the West End this year is 24 per cent down compared to 2019, before the pandemic. 

The latest chapter of the Let’s Do London campaign aims to attract audiences outside of London to the capital, with the launch of adverts across TV, radio and social media.

Led by London’s business growth and destination agency, London & Partners, this £2m phase of the Mayor’s campaign will encourage people across the country to visit and stay overnight in London by shining a spotlight on the capital’s wide range of attractions and entertainment.

Prior to the pandemic, London was the third most visited city on the planet, with a thriving tourism sector accounting for as many as one in five jobs in London and contributing almost 12 per cent of the city’s gross domestic product.

Last year, the Mayor and London & Partners launched the biggest domestic tourism campaign the capital had ever seen – Let’s Do London – to encourage visitors back to the capital. This brought in an additional £81m in spending and 330,000 overnight visitors to the capital.

Earlier this year, the Mayor and London & Partners extended this campaign across the world when he launched in New York the largest international tourism campaign the city has ever seen. It includes £7m to encourage international tourists back to London, £2m to attract overnight UK visitors and £1m for reaching out to Londoners.

2022 has already been an exceptional year for the capital with The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the 50th Anniversary of Pride in London, the Wimbledon Championships and the opening of the pioneering ABBA Voyage show at a custom-made theatre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

This fantastic entertainment will continue throughout the summer with the UEFA Women’s EURO championship at Brentford and Wembley, a series of special events to mark the 25th anniversary of Shakespeare’s Globe, and the return of Notting Hill Carnival and the Formula-E London Grand Prix.

The Elizabeth Line has also opened this summer, giving visitors a new high-speed route between east and west London.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is the greatest city in the world, with incredible cultural attractions, unique experiences and adventures to enjoy for a wide-range of budgets. This fantastic tourism offer helps to drive our economy by supporting businesses and jobs across the capital.

“I’m proud that my Let’s Do London campaign has already helped to bring backs hundreds of thousands of tourists back to London, but I am determined to show even more people across the country and the rest of the world that our capital is ready to welcome them.”

Laura Citron, CEO of Visit London said: “It’s been great to welcome visitors from across the UK to London – they have been so important to London’s tourism, hospitality and culture businesses over the tough pandemic years. We are building on that, inviting visitors from across the UK to keep visiting their capital. Brits don’t have to go abroad to experience the thrills of a diverse, global city – London is a train ride away.

“Tourism is vital to London’s economy, so it’s important that we continue to promote London as a top visitor destination for both UK and international visitors. We’re excited to work with our industry partners to launch the next phase of the ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign.”

Kate Nicholls OBE, CEO of UKHospitality said: “The diverse and wonderful reasons for visiting London are as strong and plentiful as ever, so it’s only right that, while inbound tourism makes its recovery, domestic holidaymakers get to experience London while it is a little more accessible than most summer seasons. With the brand new Elizabeth Line, our attractions open and a dazzling events calendar to plan around, there’s perhaps no better time to come to the capital.”

Merlin Entertainments Midway UK Marketing Director & Chair of the London Recovery Board Marketing Directors Group Sara Holt said: “Merlin is delighted that the Mayor continues to support London businesses with this vital campaign and that we can support by bringing industry together to contribute. Last year’s campaign drove an unprecedented return on investment and helped protect thousands of jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors. 

“The international tourism industry in London is still some way from being recovered and with the current cost of living crisis, we need to do all we can to continue highlighting to domestic visitors why there has never been a better time to visit our marvellous city. We can’t wait to welcome our domestic guests to our iconic attractions The lastminute.com London Eye, Madame Tussauds London, The London Dungeon and SEA LIFE London Aquarium this summer.”

Bernard Donoghue OBE, Director, Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) said: “The ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign has been a huge success and has reminded people in this country just how diverse and spectacular London is. They’ve been incited to explore all that London has to offer and our tourism businesses, from galleries to theatres, heritage sites and performance venues, have loved hosting our visitors after a couple of years of absence. There’s still so more to see and do and, before our overseas visitors return in record numbers, now’s the best time to fulfil that wish list of best things to do and see in London. You’re welcome, you’re invited and we’d love to see you.”

Ros Morgan, CEO of Heart of London Business Alliance said: “We welcome the Mayor of London’s campaign to continue to draw tourists back to the city. After a difficult few years, we’re here to remind people what the West End has to offer, including our world-class hotels, bars, theatres, galleries, shops and restaurants. We are very proud of our recovery to date and look forward to welcoming more and more visitors back this summer.”