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Thursday, April 26, 2012
London Olympics 2012 to Boost International Visitors to UK
The UK will only welcome an additional 330,000 international
visitors as a direct result of hosting the London 2012 Olympics, reveals
research at WTM Vision Conference London.
Euromonitor International Head of Travel and Tourism
Research Caroline Bremner told senior travel industry delegates, at the event
organised by Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market, the UK will welcome
29.4m international visitors this year, a 2% increase on 2011, or 588,000.
The number of international visitors coming for London 2012
represents less than 1% of the total UK inbound market. Bremner told WTM Vision
Conference – London delegates that domestic visitors were crucial to the
success of the games, saying that around 70% of the eight million tickets sold
had gone to British people.
London Olympics 2012
Other speakers at the event backed Euromonitor
International’s findings about the low number of international visitors.
EasyJet UK Managing Director Paul Simmons said that the airline had seen
"no significant impact on bookings" because of the Olympics and
suggested that "BA would probably say the same".
Furthermore, London hotels appear to be missing out,
according to the world's biggest online travel business. Expedia Managing
Director UK Andy Washington said that worldwide bookings for flights into
Manchester Airport during the three weeks of the Olympics are 40% ahead of the
same period last year.
International bookings into Scottish airports are 31%
higher. "I can't say for sure that these people are staying in the regions
and travelling into London to see the Games," he said, "but I can’t
think of any other reason why the growth should be so big."
Washington admitted that London hotel prices during the
games had been high thus far, but average daily rates were likely to come down
as more rooms are released for tourists. Hoseasons Group Managing Director
Geoff Cowley said that his business was not able to comment because it does not
have any London based product. But he said that Hoseasons has participated in
the government-backed 20.12% promotion because it wanted to be part of the
legacy that domestic tourism would benefit from once the Games concluded.
London Olympics 2012
TUI UK Managing Director David Burling said that "the
inbound and outbound industries need to come together so that the authorities make
sure the airports work."
Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel
Market Fiona Jeffery said: "With less than 100 days to go, the Olympics
were like to be discussed at WTM Vision Conference - London Vision. Euromonitor
International's findings suggest that while the number of international
visitors may appear modest, the real benefit of London2012 could be the
long-term boost to domestic tourism