The respondents – the majority of whom (87%) were from overseas including France, Germany, Italy, Spain & USA – said that they are enjoying London’s entertainment most of all, closely followed by the shopping. Two thirds of visitors also said they were enjoying the food, reporting that it is exceeding the expectations they had before their visit.
Just under half of the visitors had been or were planning to visit the Olympic Games and three quarters of the visitors said that London had surprised them in some way. The most common factor mentioned was the weather, and the warmth of welcome and friendliness of the British people.
The informal survey of 200 shoppers on London’s Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus was carried out by the New West End Company and the Heart of London Business Alliance in association with VisitBritain, in response to concerns last week that visitors were staying away from the shops and London’s more traditional tourist attractions in favour of visiting the Olympic Games. However figures over the weekend indicate that the retail sector is more than holding its own.
Jace Tyrrell, New West End Company, says: “We’ve always known we have a strong retail and leisure offering, with 211 retailers choosing to locate their global flagship stores in the area. But this outstanding recognition really shows the fantastic appeal London’s West End has for visitors. We have more international brands than ever before including Bosideng, Ralph Lauren, UNIQLO and JM Weston, alongside an unrivalled entertainment offering of renowned theatres, casinos, cinemas, Michelin starred restaurants and entertainment like M&M’s World flagship store and Ripley’s Believe it or Not!”
We have 30 West End Welcome Ambassadors who collectively talk over 20 languages, ready to greet international visitors and Londoners alike to London’s retail and entertainment offering, which is like nowhere else. Images of London’s West End are now being seen by billions around the world, so it’s a great time to showcase everything the West End has to offer.”
“These figures show that 2012 really is a golden time to visit London” said VisitBritain CEO Sandie Dawe.
* Survey of 200 visitors, over two days [Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th August]
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com