Domestic visitors vital to London Olympics



Domestic travel to the London 2012 Olympic Games is crucial as international arrivals will only directly boost numbers by an extra 330,000, a recent study revealed.

According to research conducted by Euromonitor International in the UK,  the number of overseas visitors travelling for the London games represents less than one percent of the total UK inbound market.

Euromonitor International head of travel and tourism Caroline Bremner said the UK will greet 29.4 million foreign tourists in 2012, up two percent from last year.

Ms Bremner revealed at the WTM Conference that domestic visitors were vital to the success of the Olympic Games as 70 percent of the eight million tickets sold had been purchased by Britons.

EasyJet UK managing director Paul Simmons said that the carrier had experienced “no significant impact on bookings” and proposed that “British Airways would probably be the same”.

Additionally, Expedia managing director UK Any Washington revealed that global bookings for flights into Manchester Airport for the duration of the games is 40 percent ahead for the same period last year.

"I can’t say for sure that these people are staying in the regions and travelling into London to see the Games but I can’t think of any other reason why the growth should be so big,” Mr Washington said.

Mr Washington added that although hotel prices during the games are high the average daily rates were expected to come down as more hotels are released for tourists.

Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel Market Fiona Jeffery said domestic tourism is set to grow.

“Euromonitor International’s findings suggest that while the number of international visitors may appear modest, the real benefit of London 2012 could be the long-term boost to domestic tourism.”

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
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