Saturday Jun 16, 201210:17 AM GMT
‘Olympics repel usual UK tourists’: leading European tour operator
Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:16AM
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A lot of the agents overseas that would naturally feature the UK in their programmes just have not done so … What we have found is that the demand has moved not to other regions of the UK but to other countries in Europe."

Select Travel managing director John Martin

A report by the leading European group of inbound tour companies, Select Travel, has poured cold water on Britain’s Olympic tourist rush hopes saying the games have scared visitors off Britain.


Amid reports of around 33 percent plunge in hotels and tours bookings in Britain during the Games, Select Travel in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, said it expects its quietest July for 20 years.

"A lot of the agents overseas that would naturally feature the UK in their programs just have not done so … What we have found is that the demand has moved not to other regions of the UK but to other countries in Europe," Select Travel managing director John Martin said.

This comes as the plunge was also reported by the tourism association UK Inbound that said tour bookings have fallen by 30 to 40 percent in July and August across Britain.

"The Olympics themselves are not often a magnet for regular visitors," UK Inbound chief executive Mary Rance said.

Olympic-time tourism is also believed to have been hit by high prices including rallies in hotel accommodation costs in London and other cities.

London’s mayor’s office warned last week that high-prices in the city ahead of the Olympics could deal a permanent blow to London’s tourism similar to what Atlanta in the US suffered after the 1996 games.

AMR/JR/HE
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