Fears voiced over damage to London tourism

by William ASTON on August 10, 2011

As images of the violence and looting around London continue to be beamed around the world, fears over how severely the city’s tourism industry might be damaged have increased.

The first wave of rioting, which occurred in Tottenham, just seven miles from London’s Olympic Stadium, saw extraordinary crime, including buildings, double-decker buses, and police vehicles being burned.

Governments have been swift in advising their citizens to make sure they take extra care in the UK, after ongoing unrest nationwide was covered extensively in the international press.

The violence has been branded as the main part of an ‘urban guerrilla war’ by Corriere della Sera, a leading Italian newspaper, and even a ‘pogrom’ in Russia by Moskovskie Novosti paper.

Tourists that have trips to London planned have been subjected to images of famous iconic red double-decker buses on fire, as well as rather misguided claims that violence has reached the city centre and Oxford Street – arguably the city’s most popular shopping district.

The official tourism board for the capital, Visit London, says that it’s too early to anticipate what effect the violence has had on visitor numbers however it has been monitoring the situation with a beady eye.

In India, the senior editor of its Lonely Planet magazine told followers on Twitter followers to altogether avoid visiting the UK, explaining that the violence has travelled to other major cities such as Bristol, Manchester, and Liverpool.

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