London tourism could fall in 2012
Tourist numbers in London could actually fall in 2012 because of the Olympic Games, according to reports.travel Updated: Dec 21, 2011 12:10 IST
Tourist numbers in London could actually fall in 2012 because of the Olympic Games, according to reports.
Visit Britain has forecast 30.7 million international arrivals to the UK next year, an amount on par with the expected number this year.
According to the Financial Times though, the prediction ranges between a fall of 4 percent and a rise of 2 percent -- far from the optimistic boost originally expected for the country, which will also celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
A spokesperson for Visit Britain told Travel Weekly that "maintaining current visitor levels would be a good outcome in a year that is proving difficult to predict due to the current global economic climate."
The agency is currently expecting to see a record number of visits to Britain in 2011, it added.
Four years ago, Oxford Economics predicted that the number of visitors to London during the Games would be 322,000 -- its latest report downgrades that number to 294,000.
Despite high promises from organizing committees, past experiences have shown that the games don't always provide the promised boost -- in 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympic Games, visitors to China fell by two percent compared to 2007, official figures showed.
However, authorities believe that the exposure provided by the event can boost tourism for years afterwards -- while it's true that China's inbound visitor numbers are continuing on an upward trajectory, it's a long way from certain that London, already one of the world's most popular tourism destinations, will see the same effect.
First Published: Dec 21, 2011 12:10 IST