Few sectors have been as badly hit in Central London as culture and hospitality, and given South Bank’s world famous reputation as the cultural heart of London, our businesses have felt its effects more than most.
Since the summer of 2020, South Bank BID has been addressing this challenge by working with Merlin Attractions and UK Hospitality as part of the London Tourism SOS Collective, together with fellow South Bank BID organisations Marriott Hotels and Park Plaza Hotels. The Collective is industry-led and was set up to address the need for an appropriately resourced tourism marketing campaign to bring people back to London, as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so.
Following ongoing discussions with both the UK Government and the GLA, the requirements raised by the SOS Hospitality group have been considered and recognised, resulting in the creation of a new delivery group, called the London Tourism Recovery Board (LTRB), of which Nic Durston, South Bank BID Chief Executive, remains a leading member.
The LTRB will be part of an overall structure and governance for a major London-wide recovery programme of campaigns, communication and marketing initiatives including public transport messaging, return to office marketing and ‘umbrella’ London branding. The tourism elements will be commissioned by LTRB, and then delivered by London & Partners, London’s promotional agency, via their Visit London channels, and in partnership with their national partners VisitBritain / VisitEngland as appropriate. Much of the campaign will be funded through the Mayor of London’s recent pledge of £5m to support the recovery of central London.
The LTRB will be chaired by Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality and Bernard Donoghue, CEO of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA). Merlin, South Bank BID and Park Plaza will be on the Board, along with other industry representatives from across London. Through the LTRB, we will ensure that the interests and priorities of South Bank BID businesses in the culture and tourism sectors are well represented, both in terms of inputs into the campaign and representation for South Bank in its communication outputs.
The BID will share more details on the London recovery campaign as soon as it is designed, prepared and ready to go to market.