Millions set to head overseas during Olympics

by Tiffany Millar on June 22, 2012

Millions of UK holidaymakers are tipped to flee their country when the Olympics are being held, in spite of the Government’s best efforts to persuade more Britons to take their holidays on home soil.

One of the main sponsors of the Olympics, VisitEngland, launched a “staycation” campaign featuring celebrities including Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint, Stephen Fry, and Julie Walters, each of which extolled the virtues of taking a domestic holiday, in a move that angered tour operators this year. Just this week, British Airways, the official carrier partner of the Olympic Games, was criticised  for running a new campaign asking Britons not to fly so that they can support Team GB.

Much to their relief, research carried out by tour operators has revealed that these types of campaigns haven’t had any kind of significant impact on the travel habits of the British public. Instead, recent wet weather, coupled with concerns over extortionate hotel prices in the capital London throughout the Olympics and the sterling’s continuing strength against the euro, seem to have encouraged many UK holidaymakers to head to foreign lands any time between the end of July and the middle of August.

The UK’s two biggest tour operators, TUI and Thomas Cook, confirmed that the Olympic Games haven’t had a harmful impact on bookings, with both companies commenting that Britons have again been making plans to visit Egypt and Tunisia in spite of recent civil unrest in both north African countries.

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