Tourism may drop during Olympics

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on September 13, 2010

Despite Olympic organisers estimating a total of 320,000 spectators at London’s upcoming Games, Britian is likely to see a drop in foreign visitors during 2012.

According to VisitBritain - the national tourism agency - the Olympic Games are likely to cause Britain to lose out on some tourism during 2012. Although an expected 320,000 visitors will arrive from overseas to see the Games, the agency has said that it will not make up for the decline that will be felt in other areas around the country. Potential holidaymakers, the agency said may be put off by the hoopla surrounding London and the high prices being charged during the event.

Regardless, VisitBritain has said that it will continue to use the upcoming Games as means to promote tourism to the UK as a whole. An expert panel has been formed by the agency to ascertain the goal of  £2.1 billion in tourism dividends is reached. The agency has also entered into negotiations with foreign TV channels to provide some of the Olympic coverage in east London away from the main Olympic sites.

Chairman of VisitBritain, Christopher Rodrigues said that in order to maintain visitor numbers during the year, it will be a difficult challenge. He added that the agency will attempt to do so, but that it will prove a difficult task and may not be achievable. He also said that the agency was in talks with US networks like NBC to host live coverage away from the Olympic village in order to promote other areas of the country.

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