WITH just two months to go before the London 2012 Olympics kicks off, VisitBritain is upbeat about the local tourism industry's prospects during the event.
Ticket sales for the Oympics – which will run from July 27 to August 12 – are proceeding well, with most domestic allocations selling out within hours of release.
International ticket sales have also been positive. Kai Yu, president assistant of CAISSA Touristic Beijing, a certified distributor, reported strong demand within China, due to sustained interest following the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Nevertheless, Keith Beecham, overseas network director, VisitBritain, is expecting full year arrivals growth to be flat (30 million visitors through 2012), while displacement during the Olympics is a concern.
Beecham is hoping that Fair Price Charters will dissuade UK venues and suppliers from aggressively hiking prices during the event, to alleviate concerns over spiralling costs for visitors.
“This is a non-binding pledge and rates are subject to supply and demand, but we need to price fairly as the eyes of the world will be on Britain,” he said.
Beecham also played down worries over transport congestion during the event, citing the trend of tube traffic dipping by about 20 per cent in August – Londoners usually holiday during this period.
“London can deal with a large number of visitors, and infrastructure is there to support them. Historical patterns suggest London will cope,” he insisted.