The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 9/11, and the 2005 London bombings, as well as more recent terrorist attempts on the capital - all of this could make you think twice about visiting London which would be a shame as the fear of danger far outweighs any real danger in our city.
I have had emails from Americans concerned about coming to London as they do not know what kind of welcome they will receive. It seems such a shame that everyday folk who simply want to embrace the world around them by getting out and exploring new places should have these concerns but the UK and US national press do little to alleviate these fears.
It is true that there is a large anti-war movement in the UK (Stop the War Coalition) and we have regular rallies and demonstrations to protest against UK troops being in Iraq but this does not mean US citizens are not welcome in our city.
London is one of the largest cities in the world and the most populated city in the European Union. London is an incredible multi-cultural society and we all live together quite happily most of the time. There are 7 million people, speaking 300 languages, following fourteen faiths in London and if we can get along I’m sure we can welcome overseas visitors.
London tourism has suffered since world terrorism has caused a decline in US visitors. Hotels and major attractions have all lost out without our US visitors who are a major financial proportion of our tourism sector. There are many schemes to entice you back so do check with your travel agent for any special package deals for trips to London.
CBS News did a poll in 2006 to ask five years on after 9/11, how safe do you feel now? The results showed 54% of Americans say they generally feel safe, but 46% say they feel somewhat uneasy or in danger. This showed opinions were still divided but I’m pleased to see optimism was starting to win out.
In July 2007, we did a Safety in London Poll and the results showed most people wouldn’t change their travel plans following recent terrorist threats. Travelers are a resilient bunch. (You can count yourself in this group as even if you haven’t been to London yet, as you are here reading this site so you are thinking about it.)
To conclude, I live in London. I have lived in London most of my life. I love London. I travel into central London every week. I visit major tourist attractions. All this makes me happy. I hope it can make you happy too.
Check the Personal Safety section of this web site which has tips added regularly.
You can check the web site for the US Embassy in London for their latest Terrorism news (within Current Issues) if there has been recent action to concern you.
Visit London, the London Tourist Board offer these safety tips.
The Mayor of London’s web site offers this advice for Safety when you're out and about.