Londoners urged to become tourists in their own city to help coronavirus recovery

General view of the river Thames in central London at dawn, showing Southwark Bridge and Tower Bridge, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown.

Londoners are being urged to become tourists in their own city to help visitor attractions recover from the coronavirus crisis.Popular sites like the Tower of London are braced for a drought of overseas visitors as experts predict tourist numbers could take years to return to normal.The Tower, home to the Crown Jewels, reopens on Friday but some attractions like the London Eye, Madame Tussauds and HMS Belfast remain closed.

A woman sits outside the Tower of London in central London
  • Visit London estimates a fifth of all jobs in the capital are in tourism, hospitality, retail and events.

  • London's tourist industry celebrated a record year in 2019 with 21.7m overseas visitors spending more than £1.5bn.

  • Visitors to the Tower normally contribute £60m towards the £100m annually raised by the charity Historic Royal Palaces.

Tower of London director Brigadier Andrew Jackson said the charity was 'in trouble'.

Empty London: A tour of the capital's landmarks during coronavirus lockdown

Southend beach packed with thousands of sunseekers during lockdown