Come to London Says Boris
Over the winter, Visit London spent about £600,000 on attracting tourists to London. According to them that generated £6.7 million for the London economy.
Probably based on that Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has “found” a further £2 million to promote London over this summer. The expectation is that this will generate a further £60 million for London before the end of the year.(how come in summer the return is supposedly three times as much as in winter?) The funding seems to be coming from the London Development Agency and is coming as part of the mayor’s Economic Recovery Action Plan.
The campaign will have two roles; to get Londoners to appreciate what they have and to entice people from overseas to visit London. Using the slogan, “Only in London
100″ the idea is to provide 100 examples of what makes the London a unique place to visit. That includes Notting Hill where Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts in the film of the same name (in a previous blog I pointed out the value of films in attracting visitors and how the idea seems to work for years after the film’s date), Fortnum & Mason and drinking at Europe’s longest champagne bar,- which is apparently at St Pancras station.
It seems that this investment has two underlying themes. The first is that with the pound weak against a lot of currencies, overseas visitors will get better value for money. The second is that Londoners, who are used to the high transport and living costs in London, will visit something anyway.
Which leaves the rest of us.
The train and coach companies offer fares to London which are cheap but which can be rarely found and to bring a family of 4 in seems to be only viable if you own a family railcard or drive. For me to take four people people to London from Cambridge booking on the day costs over £100. If I leave it until after 9.30am to get cheaper rates, a good chunk of the day is wasted. In August when there are fewer commuters because of holidays, why can’t the 9.30 travel deadline be removed thus encouraging us to travel.
So if the mayor, the LDA and Visit London is serious in wanting the rest of us to visit London something should be done to make travelling to it and good deal cheaper than it is.