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Last Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Commuters coaxed to London sights

A major drive to get Londoners to spend more money in the city following the 7 July bombings has been launched.

Discounts at 50 venues like the London Eye and West End shows will be offered to anyone showing a bus or Tube ticket.

It is estimated the city's tourism industry lost 500m in the wake of the attacks, which killed 52 people.

Ken Kelling, of Visit London, told BBC News: "A lot of people have had a really hard summer in July and August, it is money they can't get back again."

But he said activities like the Regent Street Festival and other free events organised during the Everyone's London campaign, running throughout September, had helped bring people back.

London mayor Ken Livingstone at the London Eye with West End actors
Ken Livingstone wants Londoners to visit the city's attractions

He added: "We are starting to see a lot of people coming back into London and today's campaign, launched by Transport for London (TfL), is to try to encourage that to go even further."

Llamas from London Zoo and Hollywood star Rob Lowe, currently starring in the West End version of A Few Good Men, were among those at the launch at the London Eye on Monday.

The Office for National Statistics reported that 100,000 fewer overseas visitors came to the UK in July than in June.

An earlier survey suggested nearly a third of Britons and French people were put off travelling to London after 7 July.

However, the new initiative is also aimed at getting Londoners to go out more in their own city.

Paul Mylrea, from TfL, said they wanted to encourage people to go out in town, rather than sitting in front of the television at home.

And mayor Ken Livingstone told the BBC: "Since July, our tourism numbers are down 4%. Now that doesn't seem too important, but that could mean 10,000 people in the catering or retail trades losing their jobs.

"What we are saying to people is: 'Come to London by public transport with your Oyster travelcard and get these huge discounts'."

West End recovers after attacks
04 Aug 05 |  Entertainment


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