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London Olympics: Good for sport, bad for tourism

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London Olympics: Good for sport, bad for tourism


British athletes may be picking up gold at the London Olympics, but takings are down at the capital’s main tourist attractions.

The sporting event is said to be putting off regular visitors. There had been fears that London would struggle to cope with the crowds.

“We are seeing at least a 30 percent decline in attendance at attractions,” said Tom Jenkins, from the European Tour Operators Association.

“We are seeing sharp falls in usage of restaurants, we are seeing a big fall in the use of sightseeing companies. You can come in here and you can get individual attention from a Beefeater at the Tower of London and the British Museum is comparatively empty.”

One London hotel manager put the disappointment down to too much hype ahead of the Games.

“The projections were very high, the buzz around the Olympics in London was great,” said Robin Chadha, from CitizenM Hotels.

“There were a lot of warnings also to stay out of the city because of traffic, so it may have scared people off. Maybe people said ‘we are going to leave London’, especially the locals. Maybe some people did not want to deal with the hassle of coming into a city which is at full capacity,” he continued.

euronews correspondent Ali Sheikholeslami, in the capital, added: “This is an exceptionally quiet August for London. So, if the London 2012 Olympics are not for you, the city’s many attractions are much less crowded and ready to welcome you.”

Follow Ali Sheikholeslami on Twitter

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