London hit by falling tourism numbers

Irish visitors are shying away from London as the favourite city-break destination, while landmark destinations such as Madame Tussauds and the London Eye have reported a drop in visitors following recent terror attacks.

Paul Dawson of Cork-based Dawson Travel said London inquiries had been noticeably reducing in recent weeks, with Irish visitors reluctant to travel even for traditionally popular packages such as the Wimbledon tennis championships.

He said the release of the English Premier League fixtures today would be telling, as they have been one of the biggest weekend break selling points.

Mr Dawson said: “People are nervous of landmarks, subways, and trains in London, undoubtedly. We’re finding families are more reluctant to go. Football fans tend to not be as worried and traditionally strong bookings for Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United fixtures will tell a lot.”

Visitor attractions group Merlin Entertainments said the attacks in Manchester and London over the past month had led to a deterioration in domestic demand for its attractions such as Madame Tussauds, the London Eye, and the Sea Life Aquarium.

Shares in Merlin, the world’s second-biggest visitor attractions group behind Walt Disney, fell by as much as 4% as it admitted foreign visitors could stay away in the coming months.

Merlin, which also owns Legoland and theme parks such as Alton Towers, noted that over 70% of 2016 profit was generated from outside the UK.

Additional reporting: Reuters


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