PUBLIC SECT0R: Totally London sets its sights closer to home

London commuters are to be targeted as part of a PR push to revive the capital's beleaguered tourism sector.

Totally London Month, which launches on 17 May, will promote discounts available at hotels, theatres and other attractions to both commuters and the seven million residents of Greater London, in a bid to encourage them to spend more time visiting the capital's attractions.

The London Tourist Board, which is co-ordinating the campaign, estimates 2003 will see six per cent fewer visitors to the capital than last year, meaning a loss of around £1.2bn worth of spending, as the tourism sector feels the effects of the global uncertainty caused by the Iraq war.

Totally London Month is the first stage of the LTB's Totally London campaign, preliminary details of which were unveiled in January (PRWeek, 31 January). The initiative is funded by £3.8m from the London Development Agency.

LTB head of PR Katherine Grice said more than 200 businesses had so far 'expressed interest' in supporting the campaign.

Grice said the campaign will target UK areas outside the south-east in the summer, followed by a PR push in continental Europe - with particular emphasis on France and Germany - set for the autumn.

As part of Totally London Month, children will get free weekend travel on buses and the Tube for the first three weekends in June.

Good Relations will handle the PR element to Totally London, having won a four-way pitch to secure the contract. The agency's PR work starts with a media launch event for Totally London Month.

Last September, London mayor Ken Livingstone pledged £7m would be spent on tourism in London over the next two years. Totally London's £3.8m is an addition to these funds.

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