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London: Report says tourism in Britain dropped during the Games

August 14, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Dancers at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. A post-Olympics survey says tourism dropped in London and the U.K. as a whole during the Games.
Dancers at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. A post-Olympics… (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles…)

Businesses in Britain experienced a "significant reduction" in the number of visitors compared with summer 2011, and not just in the capital, according to a British tourism trade organization survey taken after the 2012 Olympics in London.

"As an industry we knew the Games would have a negative impact on international visitor numbers to London, but the impact on the rest of the U.K., combined with domestic visitors staying away, has been deeply disappointing," Rita Beckwith, chief executive of City Cruises, said in a statement about the survey. 

The report by UKinbound released Monday found that during the Olympic Games -- July 27 to Aug. 12 -- 66% of the businesses surveyed said their reservations or number of visitors were significantly lower than this time last year; 22% responded that their figures were slightly lower.

Businesses also were asked about bookings for the post-Olympic period Aug. 13-Sept. 9. Eighty-two percent said the numbers were lower or significantly lower than last year. The Guardian reports the survey included responses from 250 tour operators, hotel owners and visitor attractions.

But for London, the Olympic show isn't really over yet. The London 2012 Festival of art, theater and music continues through Sept. 9, and the 2012 Paralympic Games will be in London Aug. 29-Sept. 9.

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