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London’s world-leading hospitality sector surpasses pre-pandemic levels as it grows to £46bn

by Thea Coates Finance Reporter
17th Jan 24 8:43 am

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has welcomed new data showing London’s world-beating hospitality and music industries are leading the UK’s recovery.

New figures from UKHospitality and CGA reveal London’s hospitality industry revenue grew to £46bn last year, up from £43bn in 2019, and sales outpaced the rest of the UK, growing on average 7.7 per cent a month, compared to 5.6 per cent nationally.

With London’s fantastic pubs, bars and restaurants driving London’s economic recovery, the mayor said it shows the ‘phenomenal resilience in London hospitality’.

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Separately, millions of Londoners and visitors took part in live music events in the capital’s world-renowned venues and festivals across the year as some of the industry’s biggest names performed, including Beyoncé, Harry Styles and Blur.

New data reveals:

  • Boxpark reported record sales in December 2023 with like-for-like sales up by 22 per cent on December 2022, beating sales made during the 2022 World Cup
  • More than 250 new restaurants opened in London last year, a four per cent increase on 2022
  • The O2 arena enjoyed a record-breaking year with more than 2.5m tickets sold to its events
  • ABBA Voyage welcomed more than 1m visitors to its purpose-built East London venue adding £177million to the capital’s GVA
  • BST Hyde Park welcomed 555,000 guests across its summer of activity, selling out faster than pre-pandemic
  • Three of London’s biggest stadiums welcomed more than 1.2m visitors to a number of live music events. That includes more than 225,000 experiencing Beyoncé’s show over five nights at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Harry Styles recorded his highest UK attendance (320,000) over four nights at Wembley, and 160,000 enjoying The Weeknd at London Stadium

This year there will be more to look forward to with Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, Liam Gallagher and Burna Boy all performing in London.

Dozens of exciting new restaurant, bar and pub openings are planned in the coming months, including Josephine in Chelsea, Three Sheets in Soho and England’s first ever Guinness Storehouse will open in Covent Garden.

Although the music and hospitality sectors continue to bounce back to full health following the pandemic, they still face a number of difficulties, with increases in rents and energy costs, and ongoing issues around migration changes impacting recruitment. Smaller and independent venues are particularly affected.

The Mayor continues to do all he can to support the industries and is calling on the Government to provide extra support for these venues.

The Mayor is protecting venues through the most pro-culture and night time London Plan, his ground-breaking Culture and Community Spaces at Risk programme which has helped hundreds of venues to survive by providing advice and support, while his Let’s Do London campaign the biggest domestic and international tourism campaign the capital has ever seen, attracting over 850,000 additional visitors, who in turn contributed £360m to London’s economy.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “London’s pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants are unrivalled and I’m delighted that they have helped our capital roar back from the impact of the pandemic.

“With figures now better than before the pandemic. It really shows the phenomenal resilience in London hospitality. The success of our world-leading hospitality sector over the last 12 months is alongside some incredible live music events that have brought huge crowds to our capital.

“However, we know much more still needs to be done to protect grassroots live music venues and those hospitality businesses that continue to struggle during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and growing challenges with recruitment.

“We need Government to step-up and do more to appreciate the crucial cultural, economic and social value of these venues and ensure they have the support they need.”

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality Chief Executive, said, “These figures clearly show that hospitality, leisure and tourism remains absolutely critical to London.

“Our venues are somewhere that consumers, both from at home and abroad, prioritise and seek out when they visit, meaning our sector is crucial to maintaining London’s recovery and growth.

“I’m confident this appetite for hospitality and fantastic experiences will continue this year and that it can remain a key driving force behind growth and success in the capital.”

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