Brexit could topple London’s crown as top global tourist destination, warns Labour’s Fiona Twycross

Brexit Could Topple London's Crown As Top Global Tourist Destination, Warns Labour's Fiona Twycross

London could lose its crown as a number one tourist hotspot, Fiona Twycross has warned (Source: Getty)

Leaving the European Union could result in London losing its crown as the world’s top tourist destination. The capital, which was named by MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index as the world’s top tourist destination in 2015 and in five of the last seven years, could be dealt a “devastating” blow to its tourist economy if the UK votes to leave in the 23 June referendum. London recently came out on top as the UK’s tourism hotspot, with tourists spending 36bn a year in the capital.1

“For years London has been the world s prime tourist destinations precisely because we are renowned for our openness and welcoming of visitors,” Labour’s London Assembly economic spokesperson, Fiona Twycross warned, said.

Read more: This county is a surprise top European tourist destination this summer2

“Leaving the EU would effectively signal that we are pulling up the drawbridge and that London is closed for business. Not only would this diminish our great city, it would discourage the tourists who contribute so much to our economy.”

“For London s tourism sector Brexit could mean a devastating loss of billions of pounds and put at risk thousands of jobs.”

Twycross’ warning was echoed by business organisation London First, whose director of tourism, Matt Hill, added that voting to leave risked meaning “our rivals in Paris or Rome could reap the benefits at our expense”. Hill added:

Cutting ourselves off from Europe is not in the interests of the tourism industry. Any new barriers which add complexity and expense to holidaying or doing business in London will put at risk investment in the capital s attractions, flagship stores and hospitality venues.

Read more: The best places in Europe for a family holiday3

According to the capital s promotion agency London and Partners, in 2014 the capital’s tourism industry handled 17.4m visitors, contributing 11.8bn to the UK’s economy. Of these visitors 11.5m, 66 per cent, originated in Europe showing the importance of continental tourists to London s tourist economy.

References

  1. ^ came out on top as the UK’s tourism hotspot, with tourists spending 36bn a year in the capital. (www.cityam.com)
  2. ^ This county is a surprise top European tourist destination this summer (www.cityam.com)
  3. ^ The best places in Europe for a family holiday (www.cityam.com)

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