Tourism is a pursuit of recreation and is attributed with pleasure and relaxation. It involves traveling for pleasure or business (Kotler et al. 2017). The United Kingdom is one of the most visited places in the world and is among the most visited countries in the world. It involves Cambridge, The Roman Baths and Georgian City of Bath and British Museum which are some of the most visited cities of United Kingdom. London is one of the most popular cities of United Kingdom which is visited by many international tourists from overseas. United Kingdom has been referred to as suitable for eco-tourism because of its natural environment that leaves tourists lingering the mesmerizing experience.
This report sustains a key theme of tourism and the challenges faced by the tourism sector in London. The major propose of this report is to determine a significant challenge incurred in London and its response in reaction to the incurred challenge. This report is an extensive study of the tourism challenges faced by London in the last few years and its coping-up with the same. The report is branched into three major sections. The initial section of the study recognizes the major challenges faced by the city in its tourism sector. This section also lays emphasis on the reasons for choosing London for framing this study. The following section critically evaluates the way in which these challenges have been tackled by London’s tourism domain. The concluding section of the study highlights the key underpinnings of the study. This study provides the overall summary of the complete study.
Economic life of London is impacted by the tourism sector by a high gradation. London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole world and attracts up to 30 million visitors from all over the world. People travel here from different countries to witness the impressive monuments and its rich heritage and culture and enjoy the theatrical performances in the West End. The overall tourism of the city accounts for around 10% of the gross value added income of the city. The tourism industry of United Kingdom accounts for around $120.79 billion. The employment statistics peaked up to about 7% of the overall employment of the country by the second half of the 19th century; during the Victorian period. The city witnesses 1.5 million domestic day trips and the total cost reaches up to $50.9 billion.
Popular tourist destination
Being one of the most popular destinations for tourism, London is considered for framing the study. Another major reason for considering London is the fact that it has witnessed deflations in its tourism in the last few years. London gathered tourist visitations after the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the city in the year 2012 (Mhanna et al. 2017). Outstanding cultural history and heritage, world-class museums, nightlife, and parks are some of the leading tourist attractions of the city. The city has become a captain of cultural sports and entertainment in United Kingdom (Morgan et al. 2015).
Challenges faced by the city in the context of tourism
Some other challenges that the city has faced involve sourcing talent including the execution capacity that can become a hurdle the growth of the city's tourism. Key issues that have hurdled the tourism domain of the city are as follows:
Inability in building a sustainable workforce
One of the major challenges that the city is facing involves constructing a sustainable workforce; this is so because a large proportion of workers working in this industry of the city believe that career in this industry is not viable one and cannot be looked upon as a long-term career. This attitude of the employees has resulted in increased cost of recruitment, training, and coaching of the employees and reduced productivity of the sector (Higham 2018). London tourism is facing many challenges such as United Kingdom's departure from the European Union taking the uncertainty over recruitment and constraints related to capacity especially aviation capacity in keeping pace with the visitor demands (Holden 2016). EU workers are major contributors to the workers of the tourism industry of the city and they hold an unsupportive attitude towards the industry which has become an issue. The annual retention rate of the industry is as low as only 30 per cent which creates a huge burden on the recruitment province to select new employees which are a financially challenging task.
Terror and conflicts
Trepidation is one of the aspects that has led to deflation in the tourism of the city in the year 2017. Problems of terrorism, high costs of consumption, high costs of traveling and inconsistency in the Southern Rail have contributed to the flattening of tourism in the capital city of United Kingdom in 2017. On 3rd June 2017, a horrifying incident took place in London which involved terrorist vehicle-ramming and stabbing. The pedestrians were brutally injured in this incident and following this incident, less number of tourist visitations took place in the city. This deaccelerated the economy of the city. As reported in ‘The Guardian’, day trips in the city fell and the domestic visitations were reduced following the incident (The Guardian 2016). The tourists cultivated the feeling pf xenophobia and uncertainty and hence, the tourism and hospitality industry suffered the consequences of the same.
Less aviation and accommodation capacity
For supporting the growth of tourism in the city, it is imperative to have a robust infrastructure. Currently, the aviation structure of the city is not planned to support any future growth. Similarly, the accommodation facility is also not up-to-date with the changing needs of the customers.
Elevated cost structure
London is among the exorbitant cities of the world and it is reflected in the
The tourism department of the city has converted challenges into opportunities. Authoritative bodies in amalgamation with the tourism department have the vision to inflate the growth of tourism by an appreciable figure of 30 per cent by the year 2025. The aim is to ensure that at least 40.4 million international and domestic visits are secured. In response to the decreasing tourism and the challenges regarding the aviation capacity, transportation system and high cost, the tourism industry of the city have considered focussing on significant growth markets such as China United States France.
London witnessed a brutal attack in the year 2017; this impacted and transformed the perceptions of the visitors about the place. The incident took place at the London Bridge which is one of the most visited places in the city and is the central tourist attraction. Following the incident, the news of the same spread like a wildfire and soon caught attention across the nation. This resulted in depreciation of the total number of tourist visitations. Due to continually decreasing the number of visitations, the tourism department of the city along with the collaborated actions of the United Kingdom's government decided to fight against this and take action to regain the trust of the visitors. VisitLondon was one of the encouraging schemes of the tourism department in order to lure visitors.
Despite the great shock, the tourism sector of the city began showing signs of resilience a few days after the incident took place. After the Manchester bombings, the bookings to the city fell by 3.5 per cent and the series of terror attacks further deflated this figure. However, London bounced back to the healthy visitation figures by the end of July month which was more as compared to the same month last year (Moutinho and Vargas-Sanchez 2018). This was as a result of the increased security at the airports of the whole country and the robust vigilance of the city's police department. The country is now enhancing its safety protocols and the same is communicated to the visitors and hence, the safety is assured.
Constructing a robust framework of employees
Tourism is an imperative constituent of the economy of London (Gómez et al. 2016). It employs around every seventh person in the tourism sector which shows the progress that the tourism sector is making in the context of employing the required number of employees in the organization. The city’s popularity as a tourist attraction place has caused it a huge benefit and contributed to the GDP of the country in an effectual manner. It can be inferred from the fact that the city is a popular destination and tourists spend millions of pounds on tourism, hence, the sector is one of the promising ones in terms of career and the same is communicated to the people and employees as well. The schemes of the tourism sector such as VisitLondon and VisitBritain are some of the ways to make it possible for the individuals to gain a profound understanding of the tourism of the country and the career options in it (Pappalepore and Duignan 2016). Integrated efforts are being made by the tourism department in order to ensure that London is made the global tourism capital of the world. The increasing revenue from this domain is encouraging the individuals about the lucrative job opportunities that this domain has to offer.
Dealing with issues of accommodation and aviation capacity
Competition is growing among tourist destinations in order to lure more and more tourists. As a part of this regime, it is crucial for London’s tourism domain to ensure that the aviation capacity is ensured for supporting the inflated number of tourists. It is imperative for a tourist destination to have a virtuous transportation facility as it is the major element that makes it easier for tourists to travel and explore a place. London though has good transportation amenity, but still, there are pitfalls in its structure. The aviation sector is progressing in order to keep pace with the needs of the tourists (Metro-Roland et al. 2016). The existing runways are being developed in order to support the vision of the country to build London as a global tourism hub. In the vision of tourism 2025 of London, it is aimed to tackle the aviation capacity issues and the sufficient capacity of the airports is being worked on. London Stansted Airport is being further developed in order to make use of around 50 per cent of the city’s spare air passenger volume. Planning for additional terminal capacity is in progress and it is being ensured that the city’s aviation capacity is being enhanced.
For ensuring the suitability of London as a welcoming city, it is crucial to ensure that the fitting and customized accommodation facilities are provided to the tourists. London's digital infrastructure is being developed and the emphasis is being laid on the enhancement of the accommodation facilities. The tourism 2025 plan of the city is aimed at amalgamating the digital technology with the hospitality sector of the city in order to deliver the technologically advanced services that not only cater to the needs of the customers but also excel in the anticipations of the customers (London and Partners 2017). In response to the inflating demands for the customers regarding the accommodation facilities and capacity, the tourism department of the city is working towards making sure that the infrastructure is developed for the business visits as well in terms of inflated capacity and more business-oriented environment. The capacity constraints in the hospitality sector of the city are being reviewed and it is made sure that a world-class business environment is being constructed for the business meetings and the organizational summits. The tourism department is making sure that the regulatory constraints of the accommodation domain are being addressed. The tourism department is making sure that apart from the off-peak seasons of January, February, March, and October, the accommodation facilities are being enhanced in the peak seasons. It has been estimated that the city needs around 25000 more accommodation centers by the year 2025. The hospitality sector of the city is considering the same under consideration.
London’s convention bureau has stressed on the need for London to be friendlier for the business meetings and customized experience. Currently, the city's tourism department is considering an evidence-based case for superior speculation in the industry. It is laying more emphasis on the process of addressing capacity constraints. London & Partners are currently focusing on London's tourism offer and are laying prominence on the development of the infrastructure and cultural substructure. The city's vibrancy is the major center of attraction for the tourist. The tourism department is laying emphasis on this vibrancy and is attempting to address all the key issues that the city had faced earlier. The above-depicted study has laid emphasis on the tourism issues faced by London and how these issues have been tackled by the city's tourism sector. The key issues that have been discussed in the study are the issue of terrorism, issues related to the aviation capacity and accommodation capacity and building a sustainable workforce. The study has highlighted the ways in which the city has tackled these issues and is continually enhancing its tourism sector.
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