Travel & Tourism, The economic benefits of the River Thames to London and the UK?
The River Thames was England's original trading centre leading the growth of the British Empire. The river provided safe harbour for ships and the fortified City of London housed some of the Worlds most famous and powerful.
Today London retains its economic importance in the World and it still revolves around money and trade! The main difference now is the importance of the River Thames in London's continued global status. Although London was once the centre of trade and commerce due to it's links to the rest of the World through the River Thames it is now linked by satellite and cables. Trade now happens on the floors of the stock exchange not the waters of the River Thames. The World is a much smaller place with messages transmitted between countries in seconds and conversations happening simultaneously across continents. The importance of the River in the modern economy is small, mainly now being used for leisure purposes. The wealthy and powerful in London are still â€˜traders', but they use the Thames in a totally different way. They now hire boats for celebrations, important meetings and entertaining clients. Christmas Parties and Wedding receptions of the elite and wealthiest take place on some of the stunning London party boats. Although there are many party boats and luxury boats for hire on the Thames in London, the commercial craft that once powered the UK economy are long gone. The only commercial craft you see regularly now are refuse barges and the odd aggregate barge taking sand or building materials into the centre of town.
There is still trade coming into the outskirts of London on the River Thames. The Port of Tilbury is thriving, but compared to the size of the once great trading city of London the Tilbury Docks are tiny. Incidentally the amount of goods handled is probably not far away from what it was, but with modern vast ships, cranes and containerisation the speed and amount of load handling capacity of each vessel is simply huge.
The river maybe quiet and more of a vein than an artery to the city of London, but its history is remembered and obvious at every turn The most famous and important buildings, both old and new, line the banks of the Thames. Warehouses have been turned into luxury apartments housing some of the World's wealthiest and providing stunning views out across the great river. Millions have been spent on interactive lighting systems making the river at night even more stunning than by day.
The Thames may no longer be the economic artery to London, the heart of the global economy, but it is still a focal point for many, even if it just a view!
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