According to research done by popular hotel booking platform hoo, the next few months are vital for London’s tourism industry. While people have preferred staycations at the coast to trips to a city, the research shows things are likely to change now that the weather is dropping, great news for London's revival as a top tourist destination.
Now, 29% of people would rather go to the city than a coastal area, compared to the 6% who were willing in summer. This is a major increase that spells hope for the city. According to hoo co-founder, Adrian Murdock, “Having played second fiddle to coastal staycations throughout the summer months, London is now poised to make a significant return to form as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.”
Before the Pandemic
Before the pandemic, London was the most visited city in Britain. Almost 4 million holidaymakers on average headed to the capital each year between 2017-2019. This is almost 3 million more than Scarborough, the second most popular spot in Britain prior to the pandemic.
2019 was an especially busy year, with the city daily accommodating 12.2 million people staying overnight and 281 million people on day trips.
Tourism was booming. Many more people opted for holidays to London than travelling to both Mallorca and the Algarve combined.
During the Pandemic
Throughout the time lockdown restrictions were in place, 87% of respondents said it was unlikely that they would visit a major city like London. Murdoch says London tourism has been hit hard by the pandemic, with all the restrictions and lockdowns ensuring visitors stay away. He believes that only time will tell as to the full extent of the damage caused by the pandemic, but it is important to look forward.
Before the pandemic hit, nearly 1.4 billion people used the London Underground to travel through the city.
This is the equivalent of 31% of all global airline passengers during that time. Roughly enough people to fill up 12 million flights.
During the pandemic, this number took a massive dive and declined to 5.7 million people in the Spring of 2020. However, hoo’s research found that tube travel is picking up again, with almost 50 million passengers each month. Another sign that things are getting better.
Luckily for London, 47% of people are much more likely to stay in a major city again. This shows signs that the city’s tourism is on the rise again. Murdock is hopeful that London will regain the title as most visited city in the UK. An uplift in tourism will be welcomed by those struggling to survive.