London is the UK’s major financial and commercial hub for both local and international businesses. It is recognized as one of the three global economic “command centers” and the 16th largest city economy world wide. In addition, London is as well the European Union’s second largest city with about 20% of the UK’s GDP directly being contributed by the city; that translates to £446 as at 2005. On the other hand, the metropolitan area of the city generates about 30% of the UK’s GDP or an estimated £669 billion. The city has an enviable reputation as a world class city that has been a tourist magnet as well with its wonderful and exotic destinations.
The city offers a variety of services for the world economy such as; financial and business services because it is viable for raising capital, Leisure, tourism, cultural services, knowledge base, center for research and development with 42 higher learning institutes and a high value added industry that entails aspects such as the creative industry, advertising, new media, branding etc. Several thriving industries have been at the center of the city’s remarkable economic profile. Arts and fashion is split around 85% of fashion designers that are based in the city and about 70% of the UK film and television companies are based in the city as well. The average yearly expenditure by tourists in the city is pegged at £7-10 billion but has recently been on the decline due to terrorism fears and the global economic recession but recovery is well underway with the strategies employed by the London Tourism Recovery Group.
The London Development Agency (LDA) has developed a range of strategies, projects and agencies that will ensure London markets itself successfully. Tourism makes an important sector in the London economy, the strategy aims to invest in infrastructure and people to ensure that the city remains a competitive tourist destination in Europe and the world. The strategy has created sub regional tourism and business growth infrastructure to build on the successful central London and the city and thus create a gateway to the sub-regions. London is home to the European headquarters of 33% of the world’s largest companies, with its economy being larger than that of several European countries. Of the 500 Fortune’s Global companies, over 65% base in London as their center of operations and the city as well is home to more foreign banks than any other in the world.