Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a new proposal to invest £5m in the eventual reopening of central London, including a campaign which hopes to drive tourism back to “hard-hit” hospitality and retail venues.
The mayor said he wants domestic tourism to be a central focus in London’s drive to recover and will “relentlessly focus on putting jobs and the economy at the heart of post-pandemic planning”.
Khan, who has been in office since 2016, has said he is determined to do everything he can to help London “recover as quickly as possible from this appalling pandemic”.
In addition, he has also launched a range of initiatives that aim to support employment and the wider economy.
These include supporting small companies through his ‘Back to Business Fund’ and ‘Pay It Forward London’ scheme, through which Londoners can buy goods and services in advance from local and independent businesses struggling with the challenges of Covid-19.
Khan has also allocated £2.3m for a ‘Culture at Risk’ fund to help some of London’s most imperilled creative and night-time businesses, such as cinemas and music venues.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive at UK Hospitality, said: “We very much welcome the mayor’s focus prioritising hospitality and tourism as the key to London’s recovery. Our world class hotels, bars, restaurant and clubs are critical to London not just economically but also socially and culturally.
“The announcement of significant support to market our tourist sector will be key to boosting consumer and business confidence ahead of a swift, safe and sustainable reopening and a more rapid recovery.”
She added: “We look forward to working with the mayor and other partners to deliver this and welcome back our teams, our guest and our international visitors in due course.”