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Tube strikes a ‘nightmare’ for London tourism

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The London Underground strike which has paralysed much of the capital’s transport network today (6 August) is likely to have a major impact on tourism businesses, according to one of the industry’s most senior figures.

Ufi Ibrahim, who is CEO of The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has said the 24-hour action against plans for an all-night tube service on weekends is a “nightmare” for tourism and expects businesses to be significantly affected.

Tube workers are concerned that running an all-night service will be detrimental to work/life balance and require extra work on weekends. There have been reports that unions will “escalate action” as the scheduled start date for the service (12 September) approaches, but Ibrahim believes the strike action should be called off.

“London’s economy is heavily reliant on its fast and reliable public transport network to move around the capital’s residents, tourists and visitors,” she said.

“Strike action especially during busy summer months is a real nightmare for our hotel, restaurant and visitor attraction members who have to maintain high standards while facing the staff shortages and unpredictable customer footfall resulting from the transport challenges.

“London needs the new round-the-clock tube service on weekends as soon as possible: it is essential to keep up with global cities like New York and Berlin, and to support London’s 24-hour lifestyle. The unions should call off their strike action and allow London to continue to welcome visitors with open arms.”

The BHA chief cited research that found online searches for hotels and accommodation in London fell by almost a quarter during the last tube strike action, and said she expected this to be the case again.

“We hope that trade union leaders will be able to avoid further strike action in the future so our members can continue to welcome guests uninterrupted and to protect London’s place as the top destination in the world,” she added.

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The London Underground strike which has paralysed much of the capital’s transport network today (6 August) is likely to have a major impact on tourism businesses, according to one of the industry’s most senior figures.
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Tube workers have taken 24-hour industrial action against plans for an all-night underground service / William Perugini / Shutterstock.com
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