DD1364 London Tourism Strategy

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
26 June 2015
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

London and Partners would like to develop a London Tourism Strategy. The strategy will seek to develop a long-term vision for London’s leisure and business tourism economy, behind which the industry can galvanise. It will seek to define “what good looks like” and what London would need to do to remain the global capital for tourism.

This Decision requests approval of £90,000 of GLA grant funding for project management of the strategy and bespoke research.


The Executive Director approves expenditure of up to £90,000 in 2015/16 as grant funding to London & Partners to appoint a project manager and undertake bespoke research for the London tourism strategy.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1        Tourism is a particularly important economic opportunity for London because the sector drives strong growth in relatively accessible jobs that can help address employment challenges for Londoners in the context of an economy that is shifting to higher productivity overall.

1.2        Despite the importance of tourism to the London economy, the anticipated growth in the global tourism market and the intense global competition to attract tourists, the capital does not currently have a comprehensive tourism strategy.

1.3        London & Partners has developed and is implementing a promotional strategy to grow tourism numbers and spend. Separately, the GLA culture team has recently developed a cultural tourism strategy to encourage cultural visitors to explore London’s wider cultural offerings. But a clear and wide-ranging strategy, to maintain the competitiveness of and grow London’s tourism economy, does not currently exist.  

1.4        The tourism strategy would be developed by London & Partners. It would be developed in close consultation with the tourism industry and other stakeholders including national and sub-regional constituents.  

1.5        The tourism strategy would develop a long-term vision for London’s leisure and business tourism economy, behind which the industry can galvanise.  It would seek to define “what good looks like” and what London would need to do to remain the global capital for tourism.

1.6    The GLA grant funding request for the London tourism strategy is £90,000.

1.7        London & Partners would contribute its own research, staff and resources to the project.  London & Partners would also offer one of its non-executive directors and former Visit Britain CEO, Sandie Dawe, to oversee the work and chair a steering group of key stakeholders. However, additional resource is required in two areas: 

•    To fund a dedicated project leader to drive the work and manage the broad range of consultation with public and private stakeholders. 

•    To undertake bespoke research (to augment London & Partners’ existing plans) notably to inform both a short and longer-term approach to increase tourism from potential growth markets (e.g. China, Gulf States, India). This would cover motivations and perceptions of London in these markets, current and future demographics of potential visitors, competitor analysis and the opportunities and challenges. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The objectives and expected outcomes of the tourism strategy are as follows:

•    Develop a comprehensive tourism strategy for London behind which government and industry can galvanise
•    Develop a long-term vision for London’s leisure and business tourism economy
•    Identify what London needs to do to remain the global capital for tourism

2.2        Tourism today represents over £9 billion in GVA and 200,000 jobs across London. The sector has seen its GVA contribution grow at an annual rate of 11% since 2009, and its total employment grow at 4% annually over the same period.

Equality comments

3.1    The strategy will explore opportunities for London to ensure tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people, regardless of their physical limitations, disabilities or age. It will consider best practice from other cities around the world.

3.2    A key component of the strategy will be to identify what skills provision needs to be put in place to secure opportunities for entry level jobs for Londoners from all backgrounds.

Other considerations

Links to Mayoral priorities
4.1 The proposal for a tourism strategy is fully in line with the first objective of the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy to promote London as the world capital of business, the world’s top international visitor destination and the world’s leading centre of learning and creativity. 

Impact assessment and consultations
4.2 The tourism strategy will be developed in close consultation with senior GLA staff to ensure alignment with Mayoral priorities and plans. 

4.3 Key Risks and Issues



That the tourism strategy is weak due to insufficient resource being assigned to it.

London & Partners will manage the development of the tourism strategy and will provide resource from its strategy and insights team.  The LEP funding will support a dedicated project manager.

That key stakeholders do not buy into the tourism strategy.

A steering group will oversee the development of the tourism strategy which will include key stakeholders. It will be chaired by L&P’s non-executive director, Sandie Dawe, former CEO of Visit Britain. A broad consultation plan will be developed.

That the tourism strategy is not aligned with other plans to respond to future challenges outlined in the LEP’s Economic Development Plan (EDP).

London & Partners to be included in the LEP working group focused on implementation of the EDP and the tourism strategy to be considered in this forum.


Financial comments

5.1    The grant funding of up to £90,000 in 2015/16 to London and Partners to support the development of a London Tourism Strategy will be met from the London Enterprise Panel Strategy Funding Grant, as discussed at the meeting of the 28th April 2015 and approved by the Deputy Chair of the LEP under delegated authority on 19 May 2015.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Confirmation of funding to L&P

End May

Recruitment of Project Manager

End May

First Steering Group Meeting


Commencement of Consultation


Primary Research Commissioned


Initial Scenarios Developed


Further Consultation with Key stakeholders


Drafting of Strategy and implementation plan




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