London [UK], October 23 (ANI/Sputnik): The amount of money spent by tourists in the central districts of the UK capital, London, is expected to decrease by 10.9 billion pounds (USD 14.3 billion) in 2020 due to the sharp fall in international travel caused by the coronavirus disease pandemic, the city's mayoral office said on Friday.
"Spending by tourists in central London is set to plummet by 10.9 billion pounds this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic - far more than the amount lost from fewer commuters traveling into the city," a press release published by the mayor's office read.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said that he was fully committed to helping businesses in the UK capital remain open, although the government will be required to step in to ensure that workers do not lose their jobs.
"I'm determined to do all I can to support London's economic recovery now, and in the years to come. But these sectors won't be able to sustain pre-pandemic levels of employment until tourists return in significant numbers - so Government must act swiftly to prevent widespread job losses and the financial hardship this will bring for Londoners, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet," the mayor said.
According to the public tourist body VisitBritain, there were 21.7 million international tourist visits to London in 2019, with the total money spent during these visits exceeding 15.7 billion pounds (USD 20.5 billion).
Amid a recent surge in new COVID-19 cases, London was placed in tier 2, or alert level high, of the government's new three-tiered coronavirus alert system this past Saturday. The tougher measures have introduced a ban on indoor mixing between households and residents have been asked to limit their travel.
From October 11-17, 10,060 new cases of the coronavirus disease were registered in the UK capital, a rise of 1,000 compared to the preceding week.
The capital's case total, as of Wednesday, stood at 79,485, comprising roughly 10 percent of the UK's total number of positive tests for the disease. (ANI/Sputnik)