Is money on London’s tourism well spent?

The value and effectiveness of money spent promoting tourism in the capital has been questioned in a London Assembly report out today. Figures obtained by the Budget Committee show that GLA expenditure on tourism is increasing faster than the growth in overseas visits to London.

The report found no clear link between the increase in visitor numbers and money spent marketing the capital as a tourist destination. Some London borough tourism officers told the Assembly they had doubts about the value for money of some projects, such as London TV.

Sally Hamwee AM, Chair of the Committee, said: “We heard that London TV3 has cost a considerable amount of money, but it is not clear what it has achieved. There have been mixed results from short-term promotional campaigns, including the Mayor’s theatre ticket initiative, which did not achieve sustained increases in the number of people visiting the capital. This is unsatisfactory; where public money is being used, there should be identifiable outcomes.”

The Budget Committee has recommended a series of measures for the Mayor to address: