London subjected to Olympics tourism slump; 60 per cent fewer visitors

by Alister POOLE on October 9, 2012

Some of London’s highest-regarded attractions ended up suffering what was among their worst summers ever, in spite of the ‘Olympic’ boost that had been previously predicted.

It has been suggested that the wettest summer in 100 years did nothing but compound the problem, with many sites attracting a staggering 60 per cent fewer visitors during the Olympic Games than over the same period in 2011, as reported by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. Some individual attractions experienced such significant drops in visitor numbers when the Olympics were being held – from July 27 until August 12 – that officials at ALVA were asked to hold back the full details until next year’s entire report is released.

Of all, outdoor sites suffered the most shocking falls, with visitors to the likes of Kew Gardens and the zoo’s dropping by 21.3 per cent on average. Additional areas were also hit heavy, with heritage sites and cathedrals – including St Paul’s, the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament, seeing their amount of visitors dipping by over 20 per cent.

ALVA’s chief executive, Bernard Donoghue, commented to the press that the figures are “sobering”. He added that this summer has definitely been difficult for London’s most popular or best-loved visitor attractions. Throughout the course of the year, the hotel industry has been criticised for inflating rates and making it difficult for the majority of tourists to be able to afford a trip to the capital.

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