Local councils spend 5.1 per cent of their net expenditure on leisure
and recreational facilities on tourism, compared to 40.6 per cent
on recreation and sport, 33.6 per cent on open spaces and 20.7 per
cent on culture and heritage.
Local councils provide and manage 92 per cent of tourism and information
centers across the country.
Tourism is one of the largest industries in the UK, worth approximately
£74.3 billion in 2001, more than 4.5 per cent of GDP.
In 2001, UK residents made 163.1 million trips within the UK spending
more than £26 billion.
Overseas visitors, spent more than £11 billion and made 22.8
Tourism supports 380,000 jobs in rural England.
Local people can benefit from tourism through increased inward
investment, improved employment opportunities, and through an
increase in the range and quality of facilities in the borough.
Tourism is an important and growing sector of London's economy.
It accounts for 8% of London's Gross Domestic Product (LRC).
This growth is vital in terms of its impact on job creation,
and the knock on or multiplier economic effect of more spend
going into the economy, with other businesses being supported
by 'front line' tourist services.
The number of tourists in the borough is low when compared to
the central boroughs. Hammersmith & Fulham has only 2,300
visitor bedspaces compared to almost 25,000 in neighbouring
Kensington & Chelsea, and 60,000 for Westminster. The borough
has few recognised strategic tourist attractions.
Traffic congestion and air pollution
are now perceived as the biggest threat to maintaining the economic
benefits from tourism (Dept for Culture, Media and Sport, Tourism
Towards Sustainability 1998). Although the borough has a relatively
good transport infrastructure, like the rest of London, it suffers
from overcrowding on the public transport network, atmospheric
pollution, and from congestion and delays on the road network.
It is crucial that any growth in the tourist sector does not
exacerbate these problems.