There are many memories that will stay with Londoners who experienced the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, but the photos of places such as Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street completely deserted is likely to be at the top for many. We’re all so used to our capital city being busy, even at 3 am in the morning you can expect these places to be vibrant and busy – so the stark contrast of this is certainly something that people will remember for a long time to come. Of course, we’re out of this now with most restrictions lifted and even the need to isolate if you are Covid positive is likely to be removed soon. As such, London and other cities across the UK are most certainly bouncing back – so, how well is London doing since restrictions were lifted?
How Did The Restrictions Affect Physical Venues?
Unsurprisingly the lockdown periods that we have throughout the UK affected many industries, partially those that rely on physical venues to generate sales and revenues. London is a city that relies heavily on tourism when it comes to bringing in funds, so there can be no denying that the restriction on international travel would have had an effect too. Not only were many industries forced to close, but workers were also encouraged to work from home – which meant that places like the financial district became silent overnight; affecting those that relied on things like the lunch trade from city workers who work nearby. Although there is no denying that the whole of the UK was affected, our capital city was perhaps the most affected with a loss of both local footfall and those travelling into the area; so a majority of Londoners will have been happy to see an easing of the restrictions.
A Look at Land-Based Casinos
One industry that has undoubtedly been affected is the casino industry. Casinos were amongst venues that were forced to close their doors, which meant that reviews from physical venues dropped overnight. During the pandemic consumers still had viable online options like using a PayPal casino which meant that plenty of punters shifted to using online services too, a saving grace for much of the casino industry.
Now that venues are once again open there has definitely been a shift in people once again visiting and most casinos will tell you that they now have a steady flow of customers. This has steadily increased as restrictions have been eased in stages and something that the casino industry has been pleased to see in general. However, there is no denying that people just aren’t travelling internationally as they once were and so although things are on the increase, there simply isn’t the number of people in the capital city as there once was.
The Hospitality Industry
Pubs and restaurants were certainly affected by the forced closure, but in a similar way to the casino industry, they were able to adapt in order to capture the online market. Many pubs and restaurants that didn’t previously offer home delivery and take away services quickly adapted their menu to offer this to those that were stuck at home. With entertainment options limited while stuck at home people relished the opportunity to still enjoy food and drink from their favourite eateries and so this proved a popular route for restaurants to take. Some eateries even developed nationwide delivery of cook at home dishes, another way to capture the market of customers stuck at home.
Pubs and restaurants were amongst the first industries to be allowed to reopen and initiatives like Eat Out To Help Out were even introduced as an attempt to give the industry a much needed financial boost. People have been keen to enjoy food out again, especially with the social distancing measures that most places have introduced. With fewer tables and more space, people are even enjoying eating out more than they did before lockdown where many venues opted to cramp people in as much as possible.
The hospitality industry is definitely one that has embraced online delivery services, and you only have to put a London postcode into a delivery service app to see there are 100s of options; including restaurants that traditionally were eat-in only. It goes to show that even though it is once again massively popular to eat out and socialise with friends, Londoners have caught on to how easy it is to have food delivered and as such, are keeping it up!
What About Tourism?
International travel is still a tricky subject because travelling into the UK doesn’t just rely on UK rules, but also the rules of the country the person is travelling from. With restrictions having many changes over recent months, people are still reluctant to book big trips for fear of them being cancelled at the last minute, or being unable to leave the country once they are there due to new rules being implemented.
However, the world is once again opening up and although the UK has the least restrictions in place through Europe everywhere does seem to be following suit. As such, it is likely that we’ll start to see more people feel at ease with international travel, which is likely to be a big boost to London’s tourist trade. The Government have recently completed their Rebuilding London’s Tourism Industry project, which put steps in place to help – after all, even if international travel doesn’t return to normal for some time there is something to be said for Staycations and those who already live in the UK visiting the capital.
So, how well is London doing since restrictions were lifted? As well as to be expected, with many industries bouncing back and perhaps offering more in terms of what customers might need or want, which is certainly going to gulp their business long term. London has a way to go before it returns to how it was before Coronavirus, but Londoners have certainly experienced worse and there is no doubt that it will bounce back.