London is set to welcome a surge in tourism and spending according to forecasts from the New West End Company (NWEC). NWEC represents over 600 businesses in the London’s West-End and expects spending to increase from 5.5 billion pounds to 7.5bn pounds in 2022. According to the Evening Standand spending will be on track to return to pre-pandemic levels of 10 billion pounds by 2023.
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 has been stable at around 50 per cent and spend at around 65 per cent. I think we will get footfall up to about two thirds by Christmas. Everything feels more stabilised and calmer and all eyes are now on the autumn.”
Many European travelers have avoided the UK due to the complicated and expensive PCR testing required. Some have dubbed it a ‘predictable Covid rip-off’. But even as the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) warned government officials that consumers could face risks from the fast-growing Covid PCR testing industry back in April, the testing scheme for entry has remained largely unchanged.
Currently vaccinated Europeans are exempt from quarantine if they pay for a PCR test to be administered within two days of arriving. The test must be paid for in advance, and while these are advertised for starting at 20 pounds, the reality is the price varies between 65 and 350 pounds per person.