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Article from BTNews 7 NOVEMBER 2011

Olympics could cause tourism slump say tour operators

With World Travel Market publication in mind, at the end of October 2011 the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) canvassed 38 members who between them move more than two million people annually to London.  The results revealed today show that they are expecting a significant downturn throughout 2012 with particular emphasis in the Olympic months of July and August, where operators are currently seeing a 60% shortfall in bookings.  High APD is not helping. 

ETOA says that bookings during the Games are 95% below where they would normally be.  For the rest of the year they are running at 20% below this time last year which might be considered good in consideration of the world economic outlook.

London has 125,000 hotel rooms to fill and is the gateway for the rest of Britain.  If the UK as a whole suffers an equivalent decline, then £3.5bn of business will be lost as a whole during July and August.  ETOA admits that its figures are purely based on normal holiday traffic.  For London 2012 Officials, Olympic Family and Press alone total 50,000 minimum, but not all at the same time.  Athletes will stay in their own village. www.etoa.org

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