Olympic Games 'Scare Off Other Tourists'
Tourism is expected to slump during the Olympics and not just in London - as high prices keep visitors away.
The 2012 Games were predicted to be a big money-spinner attracting hordes of holidaymakers to the UK, but bookings for many attractions, hotels and tours are down around 33% and show no sign of picking up.
Select Travel in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, organises exclusive group tours across Britain and is expecting its quietest July for 20 years.
"A lot of the agents overseas that would naturally feature the UK in their programmes just have not done so because you are not able to sell a tour to the UK if you don't have hotel accommodation or the prices are too high," managing director John Martin said.
"What we have found is that the demand has moved not to other regions of the UK but to other countries in Europe."
Children's activity centre Camp Beaumont in north Norfolk has also been affected, and general manager James Turner said business is thriving - except during the Games - with late July bookings down 60%.
"It's been a lot more difficult for us and the combination of flight prices and the perception of people coming into the UK of what's going to be happening during that time," Mr Turner said.
"I think where it has raised the profile of the nation it has made it more difficult during that time."
And part of that perception is that prices will soar, and with hotels that is certainly the case as some have doubled their rates during the Olympics and overbooking by the Games' organising committee means many rooms are expected to remain empty.
And it is not just London. The spike in prices is being seen in tourist destinations like Cambridge too where almost two thirds of hotels are charging more during the Games.
The tourism trade association UKinbound says its members' bookings are down 30 to 40% in July and August, but chief executive Mary Rance is not entirely surprised.
"The Olympics themselves are not often a magnet for regular visitors," she said.
"The people who come for the Games are obviously the athletes, their family, friends, and supporters of those particular activities, not those people who regularly come to the UK in July and August, which are of course peak times for inbound tourism."
It means for many attractions and tour operators, the event that was hyped as a big money-maker looks set instead to leave them out of pocket.
what do you think?
Greed thats the english for you i hope that you dont make a penny that will teach you, haha
Sorry but take lost tourist millions x 26.3 billion cost of Olympics be good England's chance to show the world , show the people like what's happen to GREECE in Athens 2004 now look at there people, sorry been there and worn that tee shirt Sorry but Rip Off Britain is the People big time.
Seb Coe and his mates in government told us that the games would attract hundreds of thousands of tourists to GB. Now we know the truth. If you are not interested in the Olympics it is hardly surprising that other tourist are keeping well away from the travel chaos & rip off prices
Gosh. Olympics not going to be the money spinner we were assured it would be. Who'd have thought it?
So much for the rich pickings promised by Lord Snooty and his sporty friends. Thanks to the greed of hoteliers and those in the tourist industry, this "jamboree" will end up costing us even more than we thought . My sympathy goes to the other parts of Britain who will suffer because of the selfishness of the "sporty" brigade who wanted the games in the first place. I can only hope that those responsible for the inflated prices get their fingers well and truly burned. Olympics?, who needs them??.......who wants them??
Windows Live User
Well said Gordon. It is a shame for the rest of the country and a sham for London Lets hope we never have the games again I like the term Lord Snooty, very fitting. Never listens to a word from wiser people
I also agree with Gordon - see my post above. Blair was warned by his advisers not to pitch for the games, but not only did he go all out, but Brown and Cameron were dim enough to support him. As for Lord Coe - what does he know about business? He is an ex-athlete and an ex-Tory MP.
spot on guys
Agreed Gordon! Although all decenters are being rounded up and put in the Tower, if they can get there in the jams!!
Well, well we knew it all along. The event was hyped up by the goverment and the media. Dont come to London it will be busy the transport will not cope, work from home.
Absolutely no sympathy for any of the profiteering pirates, there might be a few cheap deals on last minute booking sites a bit nearer the time! Every cloud as they say.
and we wonder why (easy) RIP OFF BRITAIN, 5£ for a hot dog 2£ a can of juice may it fail
is it not the governent with uk tax rates on hotels that is killing the hotels compared to other destinations for tourists
Windows Live User
Serves ourselves right for humping up prices and being Rip-Off Britain There is always a ceiling that people will not pass and by the sounds of it our shopkeepers/hotelliers have surpassed it
Greed strikes again!
That's thatcherism for you
So what's new? I have been saying and writing this for years based on the Greek experience when the games were held in Athens. The economy was shaken not just by the cost of the games but by the fact that the ordinary tourists stayed away in massive numbers, not wanting to be hit by crowds, tight security and inflated prices. BA has said that it does not expect a boost to its passenger traffic from the games.
David, My thanks for your comment on my post at 0951. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments regarding the Athens games. It is also worth remembering that it took the people of Montreal 30 years to finish paing for the 1976 games.
Sorry, should read "paying" for the 1976 games, - dyslexic fingers!!!
i can,t believe that hotels and ice cream sellers /fast food sellers are hiking up the prices ( tongue in cheek ) we are back to rip off the tourists again but this time its us who get ripped off as well look at the prices that are being asked for the games and if you buy a package its a mortgage job RIP OFF BRITAIN at its best let those who wanted the games pay for them and any shortfall should be picked up by lord coe and his cronies
I agree - the least he could do is give up his peerage!
And when bread and games fail to keep the populace happy it is time for our dear leaders to worry.
Tourists, the prices I have seen quoted will only attract the well off, it sure has frightened me away, let them all stew in their own greed
Why is it frowned upon NOT to be excited about the cash Black Hole that is the Olympics?