London’s world-famous West End precinct enjoyed a successful festive season thanks to boosts to international tourist spend, retail sales and footfall.
The Heart of London Business Alliance said international tourist spend throughout December surged by 25 per cent year-on-year, while retail sales went up by 15.4 per cent and footfall increased by 13.3 per cent.
Boxing Day alone delivered a visitor surge for Piccadilly and St James with footfall spiking by 15.1 per cent year-on-year. Piccadilly welcomed 238,000 visitors to the area, up 5.8 per cent on the previous year, and 42,000 people visited Jermyn Street, up 37.9 per cent on the previous year.
The Heart of London Business Alliance also highlighted how celebrations on New Year’s Eve in Leicester Square and Piccadilly increased footfall by 22.3 per cent year-on-year, while visitors to Piccadilly and St James drove New Year’s Day footfall up 94.7 per cent.
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“There is good reason for the 400 million people who choose to visit to Piccadilly, Leicester Square and St James’s each year,” Heart of London Business Alliance chief executive Ros Morgan said.
“The diverse mix of leisure attractions – cultural, retail, food and beverage – and their close proximity within the heart of London makes it a celebrated space.
“These numbers are evidence of our area’s growing popularity and with the experience of these visitors always top in mind, we work closely with our members to ensure their return – and the continued growth of our economy.”
Heart of London Business Alliance’ figures indicate that tourist spend in the West End showed a growing presence from Asian and American shoppers who continue to benefit from the weakened pound.
Retail tourism experts Global Blue’s insights recorded significant spend from shoppers from Taiwan, The Philippines and Hong Kong – groups historically accounting for smaller share of West End spend – alongside dominant shopper groups China and the US.