Many of London's most well-known cultural institutions are coming together in a new initiative to promote the capital's exceptional autumn season, as forecasts show over two million tourists are expected to visit a exhibitions and events taking place throughout the city.
The line-up of shows and exhibitions taking place in the autumn includes Turner at Tate Britain, Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy and Ming: 50 years that changed China, a major exhibition covering the Ming Dynasty reign at the British Museum featuring some of the most beautiful objects and paintings ever made in China. In “The man who never lived and who will never die”, the Museum of London will invite visitors to delve into the mind of Sherlock Holmes, the world’s most famous fictional detective, and the museum will recreate the atmosphere of Sherlock’s London through film, photographs and original artefacts.
Barbara Jamison, Head of Business Development - Europe at London & Partners and Site GB Chapter President 2014, spoke about the impact of the season on London's incentive travel market: “London’s cultural offering is of great importance to the business tourism and events sector as organisers of incentive and reward programmes seek out unforgettable experiences for their clients. London offers unrivalled access to private viewings in art galleries, behind-the-scenes theatre and gallery tours, and discussions with well-known artists, actors and musicians. Clients can live and breathe culture by participating in hands on motivational events such as acting or producing their own Shakespeare play, making their own recording at Abbey Road Studios, treading the boards of our most famous London theatres, or having a meeting or private event at The Royal Opera House. Motivational activities and once-in-a-lifetime experiences create return on investment and that is why London delivers for so many events planners through its collage of culture and creative experiences.”
London remains the undisputed theatre capital of the world and this autumn will see a range of excellent theatrical offerings from new British based shows such as Made in Dagenham starring Gemma Arterton and the story of The Kinks rise to stardom in Sunny Afternoon.
London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional company for the capital, and the GREAT Britain campaign have produced a short film previewing the Autumn Season in London as preparations start for the key period in the cultural calendar. Narrated by the respected British actor David Harewood MBE, the film highlights some of the key artistic, literary and theatrical events available across the capital and the great historical treasures that domestic and international visitors can enjoy.
A launch event at Tate Britain saw industry leaders from London’s museums, art galleries, theatres and centres of performing arts gather to promote the upcoming season. The reception featured special previews of blockbuster exhibitions across the Barbican Centre, the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum (IWM London), the Museum of London, the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Academy, Tate Britain, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, commented: “This autumn's outstanding programme of exhibitions, plays and shows is another great reason to put London at the top of your list of places to visit. Throughout the year, the capital offers an unbeatable variety of arts and culture, attracting people in their millions from around the world. It is a fabulous success story, which we want to build on, and we are developing a plan aimed at maximising the potential of the full range of cultural activity to be found throughout our city.”
London & Partners CEO Gordon Innes added: “Overseas visitors to our cultural institutions generate an estimated £4 billion annually to London’s economy. As the most visited city on earth, London’s phenomenal global success continues to see record tourism figures. It is our job as a company to promote the capital’s strengths to the world and particularly our magnificent cultural collage of history and heritage, museums and art galleries, and theatre and performance. We hope this initiative will be the start of a global campaign that firmly positions London as the world capital of culture.”
Culture remains the leading driver for tourists, with eight out of ten citing it as the main reason they visit the capital. The blockbuster autumn season includes the largest exhibition of British First World War art for almost 100 years at the Imperial War Museum; a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the passion and innovation of Rembrandt's influential late works at the National Gallery; and a major exhibition offering a new interpretation of one of Britain’s best-loved artists, John Constable, at the Victoria and Albert Museum.