London Mayor Sadiq Khan has proposed plans to invest £5m to support the eventual reopening of hospitality and retail in central London.

In partnership with investment and promotion agency London and Partners, Khan has said he will work with businesses to develop new initiatives to encourage Londoners and tourists back to the city.

Recent analysis showed that over the course of 2020 visitors to the capital from overseas and the rest of the UK spent nearly £11 billion less than in 2019, and Khan wants domestic tourism to drive London’s recovery this year.

Proposals are likely to include major events designed to showcase central London’s public spaces and culture.

“I am determined to do everything I can to help our great city recover as quickly as possible from this appalling pandemic,” Khan said.

“Crucial to that will be the safe reopening of central London and attracting Londoners and domestic visitors back to our amazing restaurants, pubs, cultural venues and of course our major shopping districts like Oxford and Regent Street and Covent Garden.

“London has always been one of the most visited cities in the world and my proposed investment will help to support central London as it begins to recover.

“In the longer term, we look forward to welcoming international visitors back once again and I have called upon the Government to fund a major international tourism campaign with London as the gateway to the UK.”

“We very much welcome the Mayor’s focus prioritising hospitality and tourism as the key to London’s recovery,” added Kate Nicholls, chief executive at UKHospitality.

“Our world class hotels, bars, restaurant and clubs are critical to London not just economically but also socially and culturally. The announcement of significant support to market our tourist sector will be key to boosting consumer and business confidence ahead of a swift, safe and sustainable reopening and a more rapid recovery.”