India among London’s fastest growing tourism markets: Report

London, Sep 1 (PTI) The number of Indians visiting the British capital London is set to increase by a huge 90 per cent by 2025, according to official data released today.

Last year, 0.27 million visitors from India came to London and that figure is set to hit 0.52 million in the next eight years.

In terms of spend, visitors to London from India spent 258 million pounds (USD 333 million) in 2016, which is projected to rise to 721.2 million pounds (USD 931 million) by 2025 a 180 per cent increase, according to the data by London & Partners, the business arm of the Mayor of London’s office.

Besides India, the other fastest growing markets for visitors to London by 2025 include China (103 per cent growth), the US (43 per cent) and the UAE (43 per cent).

“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,” said Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, at the launch of a new ‘Tourism Vision for London’ during the city’s “Autumn Season” launch.

London’s tourism industry is worth 11.6 per cent of the capital’s GDP and 9 per cent across the UK as a whole.

Tourism numbers in London are set to rise sharply, with more than 40 million people expected to visit the city by 2025, a 30 per cent increase on the 31.2 million visitors in 2016.

Visitor spending is also set to grow by almost 50 per cent to 22 billion pounds (USD 28 billion) a year, up from 14.9 billion pounds (USD 19.3 billion) in 2016.

The surge in visitor numbers could be bolstered in the short-term by currency fluctuations, and according to research from London & Partners around two-thirds of international visitors say they’re more likely to visit London given a more favourable currency rate.

According to a separate Google research, London leads worldwide searches for city and short breaks ahead of Barcelona, Rome, Paris and Amsterdam, with the overall number of searches up by 17 per cent year-on-year.

For the new Tourism Vision, London & Partners has collaborated with more than 100 of the capital’s tourism leaders, including the Greater London Authority, Gatwick Airport, Hilton and the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, to define a new vision for the tourism industry.

“As a combined force, we believe that if this vision is realised, tourism will drive economic growth and stimulate the city’s cultural scene, support even greater numbers of jobs and strengthen London’s reputation as an open and welcoming city,” L&P said.

The vision states that the growth in visitor numbers is not a given with increasing competition from other destinations, particularly emerging markets that are fighting to attract new visitors. It recommends investments in infrastructure and towards shoring up off-peak visits.

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