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More Londoners to stay at home for Olympics than expected

01 March 2012 by
More Londoners to stay at home for Olympics than expected

Londoners are 11% more likely to stay at home over the summer this year than they were last year, allaying fears of an exodus abroad during the Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, travel volumes to London and other European cities connected to it are expected to increase "significantly", according to the latest reservations data, released 150 days before the start of the 2012 Olympics.

Those are the findings of travel technology firm Amadeus and market research company Forward Data SL, which today revealed that all in-bound air travel reservations for London had spiked by 143% on 26 July (the day before the opening of the games), compared with the same day in 2011.

When the period of analysis is broadened to include the four days before the event, scheduled future arrivals show an overall increase of 31% when compared with the previous year.

The research also showed that US and German citizens showed a particular appetite for attending the games. US citizens currently represent 17% of scheduled arrivals; Germans represent 11% of scheduled arrivals.

Meanwhile, the traditionally successful Olympic nations of Jamaica and Brazil have accounted for the largest relative growth in scheduled arrivals for long-haul travel, with a four-fold and three-fold rise respectively.

And Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris, which are all linked to London by high-speed rail, have also registered an upsurge in arrivals during the games. During the three-week period of the Olympics, future scheduled arrivals in Brussels are up 49% compared with 2011; in Amsterdam scheduled arrivals are up 28% and in Paris up 5%.

But scheduled departures from all London airports shows that Londoners are 11% more likely to stay in the city during the Olympics period than they did in 2011. This finding suggests that, contrary to popular opinion, Londoners are not flocking en mass to rent out their homes and to travel abroad. Instead, it seems that the vast majority of Londoners are keen to play an active role in the event.

The forecast provided by ForwardKeys.com, a business intelligence tool launched by Forward Data in partnership with Amadeus, is based on actual air booking data currently available and covers the period from 23 July though to 12 August 2012. This analysis is the first in a series of forecast reports examining how the London 2012 Olympics is affecting global travel trends.

By Neil Gerrard

E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.

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