Mastercard and London & Partners have announced a new strategic partnership which will see the organisations combine their expertise to deliver smart solutions for the city.
As part of the partnership, the mayor of London’s official promotional agency and Mastercard have launched a mobile application to improve the visitor experience in London.
The Visit London Official City Guide app will deliver personalised experiences, offers and uses real-time data to help visitors get around the city more efficiently and explore less busy areas of the city.
It also brings payment capabilities with Masterpass to securely buy tickets to major attractions within the app, at the touch of a button.
According to recent research published in the mayor of London’s tourism vision for London, there is a growing opportunity to increase visitor satisfaction through easier access to relevant tourist information.
As an example, the survey of recent visitors to London revealed that their satisfaction improved when they were able to plan their dining experiences, with 57 per cent of respondents saying they were more satisfied when they undertook research, compared with 36 per cent satisfied when they hadn’t.
Additional findings from the London Visitor Survey showed that historic landmarks and architecture, attractions, parks and waterways, and museums and galleries all feature in the top five drivers for visiting the capital.
The app provides timely and relevant content across culture, events, food, attractions, shopping and neighbourhoods, with ‘must see’, ‘nearby’ and ‘near me’ functionality enabling easy planning and booking.
The full version of the app is live, and now features the latest Mastercard digital payments technology to buy advance tickets and avoid queues.
Masterpass has been embedded into the app, which simplifies shopping because users can store all of their card details in one secure place, and make their purchase in-app.
“We’re working with more than 70 cities around the world to introduce better transport payment systems, removing tickets to ease congestion,” said Jason Lane, executive vice president, market development, Europe, Mastercard.
“London leads the way here, but it still has an opportunity to make its 19.1m visitors’ lives even easier.
“Why should so many people have to visit so many websites to plan their schedule when they can do it with one app that even allows them to book and pay for everything they need?
“This is what we want to solve with London & Partners.”
Tourism plays a vital role for London with the sector employing 700,000 people and contributing £36 billion a year to the economy.
London is one of Europe’s most popular visitor destinations and the third most visited city in the world.
Overseas visitor numbers have increased steadily, growing 25 per cent since 2011. In 2016 visitor numbers hit record levels, at 19.1 million overseas arrivals.
Andrew Cooke, acting chief executive, London & Partners, said: “London is one of the world’s leading tourist destinations and remains open to visitors from all over the globe.
“We see a fantastic opportunity to use technology to improve the visitor experience and our partnership with Mastercard will help visitors access VisitLondon with the click of a button on their smartphone.
“Whether you are looking for the capital’s hidden gems or visiting its world-leading exhibitions and shows, the VisitLondon app will help visitors make the most of their time in London.”
The new Visit London Official City Guide app is available on IOS and Android.