The bank holiday weekend is forecast to generate up to £50 million in London’s West End, with retail and hospitality businesses optimistic that the historic occasion will provide a welcomed uplift.
West End set for up to £50 million boost over the Coronation weekend
Domestic and international visitors alike are expected to head to the Capital to celebrate His Majesty’s Coronation, with footfall across the three days set to reach 1.75 million.
As the country gears up to celebrate the first Coronation in over 70 years, the district will be celebrating with bespoke retail and hospitality experiences.
Our latest figures forecast that sales over His Majesty’s Coronation Weekend will hit £50 million.
This new research predicts that the three-day bank holiday weekend is expected to draw in 1.75 million domestic and international visitors to the West End to celebrate the historic occasion. This reflects a forecast 24 per cent uplift on last May bank holiday.
International travel bookings to London for the coronation week are up 93 per cent compared to last year’s first May bank holiday, while bookings from the US are up 144 per cent as tourists flock to the Capital for the once in a generation event.
With just over a week to go until the extended bank holiday, we are helping visitors soak up the atmosphere by dressing the district with 247 aerial Union Jack flags, Coronation planters, and a series of “Get your Royal On” street installations. Coronation-inspired retail and hospitality experiences are also accessible via QR codes.
“London’s West End will be transforming itself in the coming days to mark this historic, British milestone. There is no better place to celebrate the Coronation than London, and no better place to take part than in the West End. From Royal-inspired menus in our district’s famous restaurants to family-friendly activities we can promise visitors that the West End will be offering a happy and glorious range of experiences that are fit for a king, yet accessible to all. Uniquely British events, such as The King’s Coronation show our Capital at its very best. We’re expecting a flood of domestic and international visitors drawn by the chance to be part of history and make memories that can only be made in our victorious West End”
Despite the large turnout expected over the Coronation weekend, and international visitor numbers close to pre-pandemic levels, we are turning to the Government to ask for more support to ensure the UK is on a level playing field with other European countries, such as France and Italy.
Top of these requests is a reconsideration of the abolition of tax-free shopping and an extension of Sunday Trading Laws to London’s International Centres. The West End is increasingly competing with the likes of Paris, Milan and Madrid - who all offer a 20% price advantage to London through their tax-free shopping schemes. As a result, they are luring shoppers away from British shores.
When international visitors come to London, they are also often disappointed to find stores in the district close by 6pm on a Sunday. This limits their shopping time at weekends and reduces the revenue retailers can hope to make on one of the busiest shopping days across the West End.
“The West End’s recovery is on track, but in order to ensure it remains globally competitive, the UK needs to increase its appeal to high spending international visitors. We strongly encourage the Government to consider low-cost growth measures, such as a reconsideration of the abolition of tax-free shopping and an extension of Sunday Trading Laws, to guarantee the long-term success of Britain’s tourist economy.”
020 7932 3681
Notes to Editors
Footfall and spend forecasts prepared by New West End Company using historical bank holiday data from Mastercard coupled with the latest visitor trends.