Lonely Planet Writer

London Rock Tour wins Queen's innovation award for its tourist role

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has taken time out from celebrating her 90th birthday to honour the role of music in London’s meteoric rise as a tourist destination.

10.A commemorative plaque to David Bowie's iconic creation, Ziggy Stardust, in Heddon Street, London, marking the 40th anniversary of the album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars.
A commemorative plaque to David Bowie’s iconic creation, Ziggy Stardust, in Heddon Street, London. Image by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The city has a wide and varied rock music history – from Band Aid’s ground-breaking performance at Wembley to Bob Dylan’s creation of a first-ever video in the English capital.

 London Eye is a big attraction for international tourists, but so is the London Rock tour
London Eye is a big attraction for international tourists, but so is the London Rock Tour Image by nini003 / CC BY 2.0

And there are countless curiosity notes such as the pub where Princess Diana was entertained by Freddie Mercury when he took her for a pint there – dressed as a police officer.

The Queen has given an innovation award to London Rock Tour for its impact on tourist for the city
The Queen has given an innovation award for international trade to London Rock Tour for its impact on tourism in the city

The Huffington Post reports that the London Rock Tour has been an integral part of the travel industry for close on three decades, enriching the allure of the capital to a wide range of music fans.

Bruce Cherry has been orchestrating such tours since 1989 and now Access All Areas Ltd., the company behind the music experience tours, has received the Queen’s 2016 award for innovation in international trade.

Pop music tours enrich the cultural life of London while at the same time creating trade and tourism opportunities. These tours have been enhanced by the guides who adjust on the hoof to suit the groups they have on any given tour.

Mr Cherry said the recognition by the queen was due to the consistent growth they had reached in ‘exporting’ a special tourism service called the London Rock Tour. This had succeeded in enticing ‘buyers’ or tourists from around the world to come to visit the England capital.

Last year people from 71 different countries took part in such London tours. He said that while 10,000 people was nowhere near the 250,000 that flock to see Liverpool’s Cavern Club, it demonstrated nevertheless that there is a massive untapped demand for music-related trips.