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Londoners less likely to travel abroad during the Olympics

Londoners are putting off overseas travel until after the 2012 Olympic Games, research has found.

According to a new study, residents in the capital are putting their overseas travel plans on hold until the end of the summer, when the Games come to a close. Figures from global tour operator Amadeus show that departures from London to any outbound destination, before the opening ceremony on 27 July, have fallen by 5% since last year.

Over the summer period (2 July to 2 September) 2% fewer Londoners are planning on leaving the city than the same time last year. “It seems that Londoners aren’t forgoing a holiday altogether, simply deferring it, as three weeks after the closing ceremony, departures will increase to 10% more than in the same period in 2011,” the study said.

The research found that inbound booking figures to the UK are also 13% higher than last year. A large proportion of bookings have come from the US, showing that a number of Americans are heading to London for the Olympics.

US bookings account for 20% of the total expected arrivals during the Games, a 12% increase from 2011. Germany is the second largest tourist group heading to the UK for the Olympics, making up 8% of expected arrivals.

“This data highlights the significant opportunity for travel providers and businesses in London over the Olympics period, particularly during the dates when occupancy will surge compared with last year,” said Holger Taubmannsenior, vice president of distribution at Amadeus. “The data also indicates another period that will be of crucial importance to UK-based travel sellers: the weeks after the closing ceremony, when many Londoners will depart from the city.” Brits planning to make their exit after the Games might want to consider taking out travel insurance before departing, to protect them while they are abroad.

Date Created: 20 June 2012

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