London’s West-End is ready for an influx of tourists

photo of car and bus near castle

London is set to welcome a surge in tourism and spending according to forecasts from the New West End Company (NWEC). The NWEC, which represents more than 600 businesses in London’s West-End, expects that spending will rise from 5.5 billion to 7.5bn pounds by 2022. Evening Standand reports that spending will return to pre-pandemic levels, at 10 billion pounds per year by 2023.

photo of car and bus near castle

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of NWEC, told the Evening Standard: “Retailers are telling me they are ahead of where they thought they might be. Footfall is stable at about 50 percent and spending at around 65 percent. We will see footfall increase to around two-thirds by Christmas, I believe. Everything seems more stable and calmer, and all eyes now turn to the autumn.”

Many European travelers have avoided the UK due to the complicated and expensive PCR testing required. It has been called a “predictable Covid fraud” by some. The entry testing program has remained relatively unchanged despite the warnings by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority in April that consumers might be exposed to the rapidly-growing CovidPCR testing industry.

Currently vaccinated Europeans are exempt from quarantine if they pay for a PCR test to be administered within two days of arriving. Although the test is advertised at 20 pounds and can be paid in advance, the actual cost varies from 65 to 350 pounds per person.