London & Partners marketer claims visitor levels 'as anticipated'

Martine Ainsworth-Wells: marketing director of London & Partners
Martine Ainsworth-Wells: marketing director of London & Partners

Martine Ainsworth-Wells, who as marketing director of London & Partners is deploying new ads to encourage Britons into the capital, has sought to dispel its "ghost-town" label, claiming visitor levels are as anticipated and spending has recovered.

London & Partners is urging Londoners and the UK to "soak up" the atmosphere of the Olympic Games and not to avoid visiting the capital over the summer in a fresh marketing push, amid complaints from London retailers that the Olympics is hitting trade.

The public-private marketing body for London has pushed its Late Summer Deals digital campaign into press advertising across the Metro and Evening Standard, with the activity expected to run until the end of the week.

The ads are intended to tackle displacement during the Olympics by reminding both Londoners and people in the home counties of the capital’s attractions, theatres, shopping districts, restaurants, entertainment and open spaces, from Shakespeare at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre to the BBC Proms.

The campaign, created in-house and with agency Living Social, launched online last month and is the first domestic tourism push from London & Partners that centres on the London Olympic Games. The ads state: "Be part of the magic. Experience London's once in a lifetime summer."

Ainsworth-Wells told Marketing that the online campaign focuses on hotel accommodation and added value, offering between 20% and 50% off around 30 hotels in the capital and partnering with travel brand lastminute.com for the activity.

Ainsworth-Wells said the Late Summer Deals campaign is not a two-week solution, but part of London & Partners' long-term marketing strategy to drive an extra million visitors and one billion in revenue to the capital over the next five years.

A new visitor app launched two weeks ago as part of the activity to serve as an official London guide, which is co-branded from the Mayor of London and VisitLondon, and has received around 1,000 downloads so far. It posts daily updates of things to do in the capital.

Ainsworth-Wells claimed that hotel occupancy levels are at the usual levels, showing around 80%, and stressed that London bookings are currently outperforming other European cities.

John Lewis last week said it has seen an 8.7% drop in sales at its flagship London store in the week leading up to the Games, while London attractions and theatres have seen slower business rates since the start of the Games.

Ainsworth-Wells said the agency has been in constant talks with the capital’s retailers and theatres, claiming that businesses are seeing visitor levels and spending "turn around" as the Olympics enters its second week and the capital recovers from its ghost-town label.

She said that visitor levels in London are "as we anticipated it", adding: "We have good dialogue with hotels and attractions and restaurants and it's very easy to understand what’s going on."

Transport for London’s (TfL) preparation for the Games, including announcements from Mayor Boris Johnson warning consumers to plan journeys in advance and allow extra journey times, has kept congestion levels on public transport relatively low. The Mayor’s announcements were subsequently cut on Monday last week.

Ainsworth-Wells added: "We had spoken to the Sydney and Beijing organisers and know that the residents of host cities are often tempted to leave, but we’re very confident that the transport network is managing Londoners and tourists.

"It allows us to say that we’re coping."

London & Partners ran a previous marketing campaign, Limited Edition London, aimed at its international markets to tackle displacement in the lead up to the Games and to continue to drive leisure visitors.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer