The London Olympics: economic impact #5

The latest International Passenger Survey (IPS) suggest that London had 7.9m* international arrivals in the fist half of 2013, a rise of 7.7% over the same period in 2012. These are the best ever first half year tourism numbers ever recorded for London. Tourist spending over the same period was £4.9 billion, a 12.4% increase compared with the first half of last year.

These figures suggest that London is bucking the trend compared to some other Olympic and Paralympic host cities which have recorded a drop in tourist arrivals  after hosting the Games.

Boris Johnson, is in no doubt that the increase can be attributed to the Olympic effects. He is reported to have said:

“Last summer the palpable buzz of this great city was beamed across the globe. Since then London’s draw has gone from strength to strength with billions of pounds of international investment and huge regeneration projects continuing apace. These fantastic tourism figures not only support new jobs and growth in London’s economy but are yet another testament to the Olympic legacy.”

Attendance at the 33 attractions surveyed monthly by London & Partners including the British Museum, London Eye, and the Tower of London show visitor numbers for the first six months of 2013 were 9.6% higher than the same period the previous year. More

It should be noted that the Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey for this period are still provisional and there may be other factors,

If this growth trend was matched in the seocnd half of 2013 then London were pass Bangkok’s 15.98 million in 2012.  Paris (3rd place)  draws 14m and New York (4th place) 11.5m – Bangkok is the world leader.

* 5.29m from Europe; 1.08m form North America and 1.54m from the rest of the world.

Evening Standard report      

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Harold Goodwin