ENTERTAINMENT

London's West End can lose £ 10 billion a year if visitors stay away


London's West End is losing £ 10 billion a year and 50,000 jobs as visitors stay away from the city's hotspot.

Strict quarantine rules combined with fears of infection in Great Britain have meant that travelers from overseas no longer come to the capital.

And office staff who refuse to go back to work have also seen business and hospitality sink to dangerous levels.

Nickie Aiken, Tory MP for cities in London and Westminster, said up to 50,000 people in the capital's retail sector have lost their jobs due to the lack of visitors.

She said the loss of international visitors had a major impact on London's economy.

Ms. Aitken said, “Almost half of the £ 10 billion annual West End spending comes from overseas travelers, and the shortage of office workers who have been absent from their desks since March is having a huge impact on overall sales for West End businesses and hospitality.

"Between about 70 and 80% – you are basically seeing about 50,000 job losses in retail in West End retail alone."

Lively West End scenes last night

What a Difference a Day Makes: The crowded streets of Monday were vacated in the West End in just 24 hours

Ms. Aiken told BBC Radio 4's Today program: A "major loss of confidence" in the perceived safety of public transport was partly responsible for the decline in buyers.

She added, "We have to get this back, we have to get companies, the Mayor of London and the government to work together to build that trust so that people come back in."

The Doomsday-style predictions came when Edinburgh said attendance numbers had dropped by two million in August.

Hospitality bosses said the absence of 25,000 cast members and the decline in the "after-work pint" contributed to the decline.

Avoid: Many participated in the Eat Out to Help Out program (left), but to this day (right) the same places have been very quiet

The number of people on the streets of the Scottish capital fell to 700,000 in August, compared with 2.7 million in the same month last year.

The Edinburgh Hotels Association said the average occupancy fell to just 50 percent in August – a time when they would normally be almost full.

The average price for a hotel room was just £ 76 – a 52 percent decrease from the same period in 2019 – as prices were cut to stimulate business.

The association chiefs described the situation as "much worse than expected".

Some streets were closed for the weekend they were so busy, but to this day they may have been completely empty

City center officials said the many companies are now in "survival mode" after the "double blow" of canceling the festival and the lack of office workers.

The sectors hardest hit by the London economy have been tourism and the arts.

London's visitors make up 53 percent of all incoming visitors to the UK, but travel restrictions combined with high coronavirus cases have made it an unattractive option for travelers.

Visit Britain had predicted before the pandemic that overseas people using Britain's tourism industry would bring in £ 30.3 billion.

Even popular fast food giants have been shunned by Londoners and tourists despite the capital's sunny weather

On the day the workers were told to go back to work, only two guests could be seen at McDonald's restaurant in the West End

On the day the workers were told to go back to work, only two guests could be seen at McDonald's restaurant in the West End

Millions of people returned as restaurants under the Eat to Help program, but they were in short supply today

Millions of people returned as restaurants under the Eat to Help program, but they were in short supply today

But when the pandemic hit them, it downgraded their total to £ 10.6 billion.

The New West End Company has also said that visitor numbers to the area increased with the reopening of non-essential retail stores on June 15, but it was still half the expected levels.

Experts from the group, which works for 600 retailers and landlords on Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street and Mayfair, estimate retail sales will drop by £ 5 billion.

Last month, MailOnline announced that despite a £ 1.6 billion bailout in May and Sadiq Khan's decision to increase the congestion fee by £ 4.50 to £ 15 per day, TfL estimated an estimated £ 3.5 billion for the Year would take. Underground and bus travel revenues fell 90% at the height of the lockdown.

London City Councils have also lost £ 1.4 billion due to lost income from council taxes, corporate rates and community service fees, while individual counties' spending on services increased during the lockdown.

The Greater London Authority, funded primarily by government grants, has also suffered £ 493 million from losing its share of tax revenue.

Economists at the law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Center for Economics & Business Research estimated that London companies were losing £ 575 million a day at the height of the lockdown.

Their results suggest that London's hotels, restaurants and pubs lost £ 54.7m a day in revenue each day at the height of the lockdown, office work including professional services in the city £ 50m a day, financial services £ 50m and art lost. Entertainment and recreation £ 31.9 million.

Their estimates assume that London's GDP has lost £ 66.9 billion in revenue over the course of the pandemic to date, calculated using the usual gross value added of each sector.

The new West End numbers came about when the organizers of the Edinburgh International Festival predicted they might have to rely on local audiences in 2021.

Director Fergus Linehan said, “I don't think it's about turning a tap on or off.

"It will be a gradual return journey."

Edinburgh has reported a shortage of around two million visitors during the lockdown

Edinburgh has reported a shortage of around two million visitors during the lockdown

Companies said the cancellation of the world-famous festival hit Edinburgh hard

Companies said the cancellation of the world-famous festival hit Edinburgh hard

Roddy Smith, Managing Director of Essential Edinburgh, the group of companies that monitors visitor numbers in the city center, said: “August and December are always the busiest months, so it is not surprising that given the lack of festival activity, the numbers have fallen just as sharply Number of tourists and office workers in the city center.

& # 39; The majority of retailers and hospitality businesses are in pure survival mode and need the support of local residents, workers and tourists.

"While there are signs of recovery, it will take many months for the city to return to normal."

Garry Clark, development director for the Federation of Small Businesses, said, “City-center businesses have reported the double clutter of festival cancellations and shortage of office workers had a significant impact, and trade was at a fraction of normal levels in August.

"In contrast, there are more encouraging signs reported by businesses in suburban areas where increased homework appears to be more positive."

Hotel Association spokesman Russell Imrie said: "The very sharp drop in the average rate at which each room was being sold was much worse than expected and was a symptom of the large number of hotels trying to get far fewer To attract visitors. "

Louise Maclean, Sales and Marketing Director at Signature Pub Group, said, “The downtown venues miss the office workers terribly and the lunchtime trade is particularly bad.

"The demise of the after-work pint and the spontaneous bite to eat in a bar are over for now, and we would love to do that again – this will demonstrate progress in the fight against the coronavirus and also greater positivity for retail bring.

"Spontaneous hospitality in general seems a long way off, and while we understand the reasons and fully support measures for everyone's safety, we are missing out on these days."

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus