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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan Unites with The West End To Celebrate Its World Class Offering

July 14, 2017 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan steps out with some of the West End’s most famous faces to affirm that London’s West End and its world class offering is open for the summer season. To support the #LondonIsOpen campaign the entire West End will be liveried for the first time in history.

Delivered by the West End Partnership 374, flags across nine streets spanning approximately 4.5 miles have been installed across the West End including Bond Street, Conduit Street, Coventry Street, Haymarket, Leicester Square, Oxford Street, Piccadilly, South Molton Street, Regent Street St James’s.

Today to launch the campaign Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was joined by some of the most influential names of the West End representing the worlds of culture, art, retail, entertainment and leisure including; theatreland royalty Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, fashionista and designer Charlotte Olympia, artist and keeper of the royal academy Eileen Cooper, architect Farshid Moussavi, executive chef at Duck and Waffle Dan Doherty and publisher of British GQ Vanessa Kingori MBE. The group represents the West End as one of London’s most vibrant and diverse destinations that celebrates the best that London has to offer all summer long.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is the greatest city in the world and our globally renowned West End attracts millions of people who want to sample its unbeatable mix of shops, theatres and major tourist attractions.

“I am delighted to team up with West End businesses to show that London is Open and always will be a place where everyone is welcome.

“There is nowhere that better epitomises the spirit of London that the West End – so my message this Summer is that this wonderful part of our city is teeming with things to do, places to visit and people to meet.”

Each flag welcomes visitors from across the globe to the West End with ‘Everyone Welcome’ written in the twelve languages of the top ten visitor countries to the West End. As one of Europe’s most open, welcoming and cosmopolitan cities, it’s never been more crucial for London and the West End to welcome visitors into this city – the home of more than 200 languages and more than a million European residents.

London’s West End attracts more international shoppers than any other UK retail destination and this summer the area is predicting to see more than £1 billion to be spent across the area within its world-leading retail stores, hotels, eateries and theatres. The West End looks forward to welcoming more than 200 million visitors equating to almost £3.52 billion in tourism spend per annum.

With this influx of visitors expected over the summer the areas retailers, restaurants and leisure hotspots are pulling out all the stops to make each and every trip to the West End unforgettable. From world-leading art exhibitions, the chance to try one of the capital’s most delicious new foodie spots, or a visit to one of the West End’s many big brand flagship store’s – the offer is unrivalled.

Jace Tyrell, CEO of New West End Company says, “With the summer tourism season in full swing and £1bn set to be spent, there is no better time of year to discover and explore the West End. From alfresco dining to late night shopping and an array of stars treading the boards day and night, visitors from across the UK and the globe are invited to our vibrant and exciting destination – London’s West End.”

Tom Jenkins, CEO, ETOA says, “It is inevitable that recent events cause concern within the tourism industry. But what has been remarkable is the comparative robustness in the marketplace. Our understanding is that new bookings are affected, but not dramatically and such downturns are usually short and getting shorter. If this holds, we would be roughly fifteen percent up on last year. London is open and its appeal is enhanced by the depreciation in Sterling. This does not dent our optimism: this is a great moment to visit the West End.”

Nickie Aiken, Leader of Westminster City Council says, “London is a fabulous capital that people love to visit and enjoy. The West End offers a unique mix of entertainment, shopping and dining in a historic and safe setting.

Aiken added,“ And this month remember it’s West End Live, where you can get a free taster of some of the great shows from our world famous theatre district. There has never been a better time to visit the West End.”

Vanessa Kingori MBE, Publisher of British GQ says, “Having worked in the West End for many years, I can say with confidence that it truly offers the best cross section of London. Whether you’re looking for exceptional cuisine, an incredible place to stay or want to experience some of the world’s best entertainment, London’s West End is the place to visit.”

To help visitors navigate the best of the offers and events in the West End this summer, the area is launching a website for the area for the first time ever in partnership with Visit London –  . The website will serve as the online home for the

Top 5 picks during the Summer in the West End include:

  1. Stroll down Summer Streets on Regent Street to enjoy a plethora of entertainment and activities, as well as delicious food and drink. The annual traffic-free event takes place across the first four Sundays in July and transforms the bustling street into one big summer party
  2. Escape lively Oxford Street at the John Lewis Gardening Society Rooftop, opening for its second summer atop the flagship department store. Cool down with an ice-cold beverage served from the new Gardener’s Arms, rumoured to be Britain’s smallest pub. Reserve a “summer house” complete with a private herb and flower garden and outdoor seating, or a larger “pavilion” where you can sit and enjoy British-inspired food from a rooftop menu
  3. Make the most of London’s summer with a delightful picnic in one of the gorgeous Royal Parks surrounding Sofitel London St James hotel. Its head chef serves a ploughman’s picnic with a selection of sandwiches, tasty charcuterie from Trealy Farm, salad, cheeses and Parisian pastries
  4. Get to know the coolest artists in London as you explore Carnaby. Visit souvenir store, We Built This City to pick up fun artwork and gifts from more than 250 homegrown designers. Get involved in creative events at the Lomography Gallery Store, including regular workshops and discussions by guest speakers. Plus, pick up your own piece of Carnaby art with a limited edition tote bag designed by London illustrator Hattie Stewart
  5. Make the most of the special foodie deals and experiences on offer as London Food Month hits Regent Street. Try sushi and pasta-making masterclasses and snap up £1 oysters and complimentary Bloody Marys.


Top 10 biggest tax free spenders in stores across the West End – Long-haul visitors [Jan-May 2017]*

*Data provided by Global Blue

Nationality Percentage of total spend (100%) Average spend per transaction (£)
China 23% 1,651
UAE 8% 1,686
Kuwait 8% 968
Qatar 8% 2,418
Saudi Arabia 7% 1,772
United States 6% 930
Hong Kong 4% 1,227
Thailand 4% 1,112
Malaysia 3% 897
Russian Federation 2% 994


Top 5 biggest spenders in the West End – European visitors (2016)*

*Data provided by London & Partners

Nationality Total spend £m
France 712
Germany 618
Italy 563
Spain 543
Switzerland 379


  1. French
  2. German
  3. Spanish
  4. Italian
  5. English
  6. Portugese
  7. Arabic
  8. Simplified Chinese
  9. Thai
  10. Russian
  11. Hindi
  12. Japanese

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