Let's Do London

ALVA, Natural History Museum and Tate support London tourism campaign launched by Sadiq Khan

Article: David Styles | Image: © Greater London Authority

Following his re-election as Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has today launched a campaign he describes as the “biggest domestic tourism campaign London has ever seen” to support attractions preparing to reopen.

Museums, galleries and a plethora of other attractions across the city will unite behind the Let’s Do London campaign, conceived as a way to drive visitors back into central London after a year in which combined international and domestic tourism revenues fell by almost £11 billion.

Partners working with the Mayor of London’s office on the initiative include the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), Barbican, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate, and V&A.

“This is about getting the message out to Londoners and people across the country that our capital stands ready to entertain, inspire and enthral once again,” Khan notes. “Our new campaign is bringing together many of the city’s leading organisations and venues to offer an unparalleled experience for anyone visiting the capital throughout the year.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at Pride 2019 © Greater London Authority

£6 million has been directly allocated to support Let’s Do London, with more than £1 million additionally pledged by partner organisations in both funding and value-in-kind.

Targeting domestic tourism is being seen as the key to a successful remainder of 2021 for the city’s attractions. The London Mayor is urging the public to return to tourist hotspots at a time when “they start to re-open and need our help more than ever”, adding that “with restrictions on international travel likely to continue this year” UK visitors have a “unique opportunity to experience all the capital has to offer without the queues”.

What's on?

There are special events and projects planned to tempt visitors back to old tourist haunts throughout 2021, with Let’s Do London promoting all the endeavours of its partner organisations. Programming includes:

  • New public art installations which will transform some of London’s most iconic locations, with David Hockney having redesigned TfL’s iconic roundel as Piccadilly Circus Station becomes ‘Hockney Circus’ as part of takeover project
  • Royal Academy artists Yinka Shonibare CBE, Michael Armitage, Farshid Moussavi OBE, Vanessa Jackson and Isaac Julien CBE will also transform road crossings and street furniture in the west end
  • A project seeking to turn central London into a huge outdoor art gallery will see designer Yinka Ilori lead major new temporary streetscape commissions in the city
  • Artist and designer Es Devlin, who will serve as artistic director of the London Design Biennale, will also be planting a living forest at Somerset House for the Forest of Change project
  • Major exhibitions will be promoted by Let’s Do London, including Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser at the V&A and Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature at the Natural History Museum
  • Mayfair Sculpture Trail will bring together works from various galleries to be displayed on Bond Street, Berkeley Square and within Grosvenor Square
  • Museums, galleries, cultural venues and attractions will freely permitted to open late throughout the summer, both to maximise visitor numbers and offer unique ‘lates’ events
  • Frieze London will return to Regent’s Park

Bernard Donoghue, director of ALVA and co-chair of the London Tourism Recovery Board, welcomes the scheme as an opportunity for the public to “reclaim, rediscover and fall back in love with these special places”.

Echoing Khan’s statement that the visitor experience will be richer for the lack of customary crowds, he adds: “The welcome never warmer and the importance of London’s attractions, culture and tourism economy never better appreciated.”