London tourism could top 40 million visitors per year by 2025, according to an ambitious new tourism plan outlined by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
The Tourism Vision for London, which is backed by more than 100 industry partners and supported by the Mayor of London, suggests that tourism numbers in London are set to rise sharply by 2025. Projections show that visitor numbers could top 40 million a year, an increase of 30 percent on current levels, with tourism spending projected to hit £22 billion a year - up by 50 percent.
China and India are likely to be the fastest growing markets for tourism in London, with visitor numbers from China growing by more than 100 percent by 2025 and India rising by 90 percent.
The surge in visitors could be boosted in the short term by currency fluctuations. Separate research from London & Partners shows that around two thirds of international visitors say they are more likely to visit London given more favorable currency rates.
However, the Tourism Vision states that the growth in visitor numbers is not a given with increasing competition from other destinations fighting to attract new visitors and other challenges such as continued access to talent, the supply of new hotel rooms and aviation capacity that could constrain growth.
It recommends greater investment in pre-visit promotion to attract more first time visitors, boosting visitor numbers in off-peak periods and harnessing technology to allow visitors to make more of their visit and see more of the city.
London & Partners' findings coincide with data from Google that reveals the British capital is the most searched for global destination for city and short breaks.
According to Google, London leads worldwide searches for city and short breaks ahead of Barcelona, Rome, Paris and Amsterdam, with the number of searches up by 17 percent year-on-year. London also tops Google's search rankings for global cities to fly to.
The Tourism Vision and this year's Autumn Season, which shines a spotlight on the best events taking place across the capital in the months ahead, were launched by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
The Mayor commented: "London is the world's greatest city, so it comes as no surprise that we lead the way when it comes to international tourism. Visitors to the capital bring huge benefits - the industry boosts London's economy, as well as supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and showing the world that London is an open, welcoming and diverse city."
Culture, the arts, history and heritage are the number one reasons visitors come to London. As the capital launches The Autumn Season, additional data from Google shows that the city's West End theatres form a big slice of online searches for culture in London.
According to Google the musical Hamilton is the most searched for UK musical globally this year.
The Autumn Season will give people the chance to experience the city like a Londoner with the help of special guides including: vocalist and broadcaster Jumoké Fashola, author and fashion historian Amber Buchart, London events and culture vloggers Pete and Jens, and Blue Badge Tour Guide, David Mildon.
The Autumn Season was formally launched at London's Natural History Museum.
visitlondon.com has created a series of films starring Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Londoners from across the capital as they explore the remarkable events that make London a must-see destination to visit this autumn. Watch now at visitlondon.com/autumn.