London tourists down during Olympics
CNC report from London
Added On August 4, 2012
The London 2012 Olympics has long been heralded as a key boost to the recession-hit British economy.
But according to key industry figures, tourist numbers have fallen "dramatically" since the Games began, leading to consumption volume drop.
Take a look.
According to key industry figures, the London 2012 Olympics appears to be deterring tourists from the capital's centre after warnings of travel chaos and overpriced hotel rooms.
Many businesses complain they are being sidelined as tourists make a beeline for the Olympic Games and avoid the capital's other attractions and shopping destinations.
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) BRITISH STOREOWNER:
"Last year (at the same month) very busy, very very busy, at this time of the last year I can't talk to you like this. Now in Olympic time, no too much traffic, no business, business is 25 percent less. Of course, without business, I have to pay the rental from my pocket, which means this year I don't (earn) that much money. And this shop's rental is very high in the central London."
According to industry body the European Tour Operators Association, London has approximately 300,000 foreign and 800,000 domestic visitors every day in August.
These people have been told that they should stay away from the capital's centre and they have done so.
The body argued that many were simply following official travel advice from Transport for London, which runs the capital's roads and railways.
Many holidaymakers are meanwhile delaying their trips to London until September, following the end of the Olympics and Paralympics.
Hotel room provider Jactravel said "compared with the same period last year, bookings for London are very substantially down, whereas bookings for all other European cities are significantly up."
Despite the evidence, London officials remain upbeat that London can prosper from the Olympics.
The British government hopes to generate deals worth more than 1.54 billion U.S. dollars over the Olympics, with 20.3 billion dollars more over the next two or three years.
The Games are costing 14.5 billion dollars to stage.