Inbound tourists undeterred by riots, say tour operators

Inbound tourists undeterred by riots, say tour operators

The UK has suffered a ‘negligible’ number of tourist cancellations despite images of rioting and looting being screened around the world, according to the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA).

ETOA reported its members had received 330 cancellations for the coming week by yesterday, out of more than 38,000 people booked to stay in London hotels on Wednesday.

An ETOA spokesman said: “On the basis that these people would have stayed two nights, this represents 660 missing bed-nights throughout the week or barely 95 cancellations per night.” This represents a cancellation rate of 0.17%.

“Some of the individual cancellations are now rebooking,” the spokesman added. “People cancel for a myriad of reasons: the disturbances have, for now, proved  as significant a factor as having a sick dog or flooding the bathroom.”

The association suggested the fact that media coverage of the riots had shown “comparatively anonymous locations” had contributed to the low level of cancellations.

“No major landmarks and no significant numbers of tourists have been caught up in the trouble,” said ETOA. 

However, the organisation, which has 500 inbound tour operator members, said: “The significance lies in how a country is seen to deal with the trouble. The images have been of the police trying to contain the trouble. They have not violently confronted it.

“Images of property being damaged are very different from those of people being hurt. So the story of the last few nights, played out on television sets throughout the world, has been of an unarmed police establishing order.

“The story of the next few nights will be of the due process of law bringing suspects to account. London remains safe for tourists, and tourists understand that London remains safe.”



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