Brexit would cost London tourism billions, Twycross claims

Fiona Twycross, the London Assembly Member who lives in Croydon, has today joined the European Union referendum debate by claiming that Brexit would create a “devastating loss to London’s tourist economy”.

Assembly Member Fiona Twycross: Brexit could cost London's tourist economy billions

Assembly Member Fiona Twycross: Brexit would threaten thousands of London jobs

London has been named as the world’s most popular tourist destination in five of the last seven years, including 2015. But Twycross said today that a vote to leave the EU would send the message that the UK was “pulling up the drawbridge” and signalling the capital is “closed for business”.

“For years London has been the world’s prime tourist destination precisely because we are renowned for our openness and welcoming of visitors,” Twycross said.

“Leaving the EU would effectively signal that we are pulling up the drawbridge and that London is closed for business.

“Not only would this diminish our great city, it would discourage the tourists who contribute so much to our economy. For London’s tourism sector, Brexit could mean a devastating loss of billions of pounds and put at risk thousands of jobs.”

According to the capital’s promotion agency London and Partners, in 2014 the capital’s tourism industry saw 17.4 million visitors, contributing £11.8 billion to our economy.

Two-thirds of all these visitors originated in Europe.

“Cutting ourselves off from Europe is not in the interests of the tourism industry,” said Matt Hill, the tourism director of the non-party business group, London First.

“Any new barriers which add complexity and expense to holidaying or doing business in London will put at risk investment in the capital’s attractions, flagship stores and hospitality venues. Our rivals in Paris or Rome could reap the benefits at our expense.”

Twycross was this week named as Labour’s economic spokesperson at City Hall, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan announcing that Val Shawcross, the former leader of Croydon Council, is to be his deputy mayor for transport. Shawcross stood down after 16 years as the AM for Lambeth and Southwark at the London elections earlier this month.


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This entry was posted in 2016 EU referendum, Fiona Twycross, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Val Shawcross and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Brexit would cost London tourism billions, Twycross claims

  1. derekthrower says:

    As London’s transport infrastructure is unable to adequately manage the demands of passengers now and many Londoners are unable to afford to buy a property in the Capital due to the lack of supply of affordable properties. This appears to be an appeal for Brexit rather than staying in !

  2. Seems strange that a few days ago the government were claiming that the £ would drop in value by 20% if we leave which would surely make it more attractive to tourists. Seems that you can make whatever argument you want if you are selective with the “facts” rather than looking at the overall picture.

  3. joeycan says:

    I am afraid the Ms Twycross seems to be on a different planet from myself. The possible political and economic removal from the entrails of a over-controlling, centralised European Organisation doesn’t mean that our doors will be closed to those who wish to enjoy our country or its history. Visitors will always be welcome.
    Where did she get the idea that we, as a country, are going to snub such an income stream?

  4. Rod Davies says:

    I am far from sure that this claim is sustainable. Brexit will cause instability and Sterling will fall against major currencies making tourism in London more affordable. UK citizens will lower purchasing power may be incentivised to holiday in UK rather than go abroad where their pounds will be worth significantly less. As unemployment rises, and with real wages falling, the service sector will find it easier to recruit and remunerate people from the unemployed, and resistance to entering the service / hospitality sector may wane if there are fewer other jobs.

    However, there may be a rise in petty street crime as the marginalised, with few opportunities, prey on the unsuspecting, so that could have a negative impact. VAT in line with other taxes will probably have to rise, but that will affect UK citizens rather than tourists who can claim it back on departure. Tax will have to increase just to sustain public service commitments.

    Investment in transport and other infrastructure may stall, but that is less likely to have a negative impact upon tourists than upon London’s residents.

    Brexit is an insane option in which the future of the young is mortgaged for the vanity project of the old, but tourism really isn’t relevant to the argument IMO.

    • Rod Davies says:

      The caveat I would put forward on my own comment is that were Sterling to fall rapidly in value and trigger a recession, it is possible that London might witness social unrest as we saw a few years ago with the riots. The loss of revenue would mean further cuts in public services and forms of welfare, and this would hit those on the margins much more deeply than anyone else – services to the elderly wont be cut by the current government because it garners so many votes from them. Also if UK the majority vote for Brexit, then it is hard to see how the present government could continue and there would be the additional instability as a lamed administration limps on until an election.
      Such instability would drive tourists away.

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