Families visiting London from overseas this summer have potentially made huge savings during their stay, according to data from VisitLondon.com, the city’s official visitor guide.
The news emerged as the Mayor of London participated in the opening of the new flagship LEGO store in Leicester Square – the largest in the world – and extended his #LondonIsOpen message to international visitors and shoppers, saying there’s never been a better time to enjoy the city’s unrivalled shopping scene.
VisitLondon.com calculated the cost of a typical family day out in the city, including a night in a hotel, tickets to a leading attraction and an evening out at a West End show, and then worked out the potential savings based on more favourable exchange rates with the dollar, euro and renminbi since the vote to leave the European Union in June.
A family of four from the USA could save at least $140 a day during a stay in the city, a family from Europe could save around €115 a day, while average savings for a Chinese family could amount to ¥825 a day, making a city break in London even better value for money1.
As Christmas approaches, the Mayor is set to launch a new video celebrating London’s vibrant retail sector, which encourages visitors to make the most of everything from the smallest boutiques to the largest department stores.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London has the best hotels, attractions, shopping and entertainment anywhere in the world so it’s no surprise we have seen record numbers of tourists come to the capital in recent years.
“This latest data clearly shows London is open to visitors from around the world and offers them great value for money. Tourism is crucial for our economy and we welcome anyone who wants to come and enjoy what London has to offer.”
Chris Gottlieb, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at London & Partners, which runs VisitLondon.com, said: “London is fantastic value for overseas visitors right now, and the savings that a family of four can typically expect to make at the moment can be a great excuse to add an extra day to their holiday, and explore more of our incredible city”.
Separate research suggests that overseas visitors are making the most of the savings by hitting the capital’s shops. Data from the retail consultancy Global Blue reveals that tax-free spending in London by overseas visitors increased by 38 per cent in August and 31 per cent in September 2016 compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, consultancy firm Deloitte has shown that some designer items and other luxury goods now cost less in Britain in dollar terms than anywhere else in the world.
Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Heart of London Business Alliance says: “London has always been a top destination for tourists from all around the world. Across Piccadilly, St James’s and Leicester Square we have seen a significant increase in visitor numbers and tourist spend and we look forward to welcoming more over the busy festive season, with new events like ‘Christmas in Leicester Square’, to show London is open.”
London continues to welcome record international visitor numbers. In the first six months of 2016 a record 8.8 million overseas visitors came to London, and since the 2012 Olympics the number of international visitors coming to London has increased by over 20 per cent.
The latest forecasts by Oxford Economics suggest that London tourism will see stronger long-term growth, with 22.4 million overseas tourists coming to the capital by 2020.