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London Empties as a Result of the Olympic Games

Posted on 6 August, 2012 by Kirsten Kennedy

Summer is usually the busiest season for London commercial properties, with sailing, school holidays and special promotions drawing visitors from around the world to experience the culture and entertainment in the capital city. However, in a year where tourism was expected to boom, London commercial properties are reporting substantially fewer visitors than in previous years.

The reason for the mass exodus of Britain’s capital is being put down to travel warnings as a result of the Olympic Games – with public transport malfunctions, closed commercial property train stations and many major roads becoming congested as a result of the Olympic lanes. It appears that many visitors to the UK are simply choosing to avoid the Olympic city this year, causing concern for commercial properties which have been relying upon the summer revenue to boost their slow takings in the year so far.

Additionally, around one third of commercial property workers are expected to take Government advice regarding working from home during the next two weeks, in order to avoid disruption which has so far been avoided on the majority of all London public transportation.

Obviously, this means that London commercial property cafes and sandwich shops are also taking a hit to their businesses. With less commercial property employees visiting their premises on lunch breaks, and fewer visitors than expected to the city so far this summer, revenues are expected to dip for many small businesses which rely on the combination of commuters and tourists.

Bad news continues to come in from major tourist attractions in London too, after commercial properties involved in the London tourist trade reported visitor numbers have fallen by a third compared to this time last year.

These combined factors have put pressure on London’s transport bosses, with furious small business and tourism commercial property owners calling upon them to relax the travel advice so visitors will be once more attracted to the city without fear of a public transport meltdown.

The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, which represents commercial property tourism venues such as St Paul’s Cathedral and London Zoo, are particularly insistent that London should not suffer as a result of mixed messages from the Department of Transport.

Spokesman Bernard Donoghue said; “There are two groups of people missing – the first are general visitors to London, who are staying clear because of the perception that it will be busy.

“The second are Londoners and Brits who have been warned there will be a transport nightmare. Our message to them is that while it may be sensible to avoid certain peak times and locations transport is running very smoothly.

“Ironically, there has never been a better time to visit our attractions because the queues are shorter and opening times have been extended.”

Hotels are also feeling the pinch, with a survey conducted by TripAdvisor showing that many hoteliers have been surprised by the “negative impact” the Olympic Games have been having on their businesses.

However, London Mayor Boris Johnson remains characteristically buoyant about the whole affair, claiming that there has been no negative impact upon businesses as a result of the Olympics whatsoever.

He said; “Things are going really well.

“Many, many thousands of people are flowing into London, the hotels are busy, the Olympic venues are attracting huge numbers and people are enjoying the brilliant live sites, a raft of free events for all the family and the free sport as well, with hundreds of thousands out over the weekend for the cycling.”

Do you think that businesses in London are right to be concerned that the promised revenue from the Olympic Games and resulting tourism boost for the city have so far failed to live up to expectations? Or do you agree with Boris and believe that, in fact, London and its commercial properties are profiting greatly from the chance to hold an international sporting event within the capital city limits?




2 Responses to “London Empties as a Result of the Olympic Games”

  1. David Evans,London says:

    Visitor numbers may be down on what was anticipated as a result of the factors discussed in the article – and fears of higher that usual hotel prices – but it certainly looks busy to me when I’m out and about so in no sense can it be claimed that there has been a “mass exodus” or that London has emptied.

    • MOVEHUT says:

      Good point David. Our writer was trying to highlight the fact that the area is down in number of people shopping, rather than it was deserted.

      We hope you are enjoying the Olympics though.

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