The European Tour Operators Association has warned that London tourism suffers 30% decline during the 2012 Olympic Games.
A considerable plunge in the number of tourists in London, hosting the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, has raised concerns about the UK’s tourism industry.
After several warnings from businesses including West End retailers, theatres, hotels, restaurants, museums and Licensed Taxi Drivers Association that the London Olympic Games have left the British capital a “ghost town”, the European Tour Operators Association also said attendance at attractions in London is down by “at least 30 percent”.
“We are seeing sharp falls in usage of restaurants; we are seeing a big fall in the use of sightseeing companies. You can come in here and you can get individual attention from a Beefeater at the Tower of London and the British Museum is comparatively empty,” said Tom Jenkins, chief executive of the European Tour Operators Association.
London's tourism industry is struggling to compete with the impact of the sports event, with capital’s tourist hotspots suffering a tourist drought while crowds throng to the Games in the eastern part of the city.
Meanwhile, blaming the current situation on too much warnings to stay out of the city ahead of the Games, Robin Chadha, from CitizenM Hotels, said, “Maybe people said ‘we are going to leave London’, especially the locals. Maybe some people did not want to deal with the hassle of coming into a city which is at full capacity.”
Although London normally has 800,000 domestic visitors and 300,000 foreign ones a day in August, but this year the capital seems quiet as the Olympic crowds have tended to stay around the Olympic Village instead of venturing into central London.
Furthermore, Peter Vlachos, a marketing expert at the University of Greenwich, who has been surveying local businesses about the impact of the Olympics, described the situation as a “disaster” while the British government’s predictions of the Games’ £13 billion boost for the economy have not come true.
"There are 23,000 people walking past (local shops) in the morning to get to the grounds, and at the end of the day the same 23,000 people rushing back to their hotels," he said.
A few days ago, after several warnings from businesses that transport chaos caused by the London Olympics have deterred locals and tourists, British Culture and Olympic Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the Sport event “upheaval” has been the reason why tourists are steering clear of London.