UK tourism bounces back after hit to numbers from Olympics

Tim Wallace
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THE OLYMPICS failed to increase tourism into Britain, official figures revealed yesterday, as the surge in visitors coming to see the Games was outweighed by other potential travellers staying away.

But those who came to see the sporting spectacle spent more than twice as much as the average tourist, and the country saw a rebound in visitor numbers in November, balancing out the overall financial impact on Britain.

An estimated 685,000 people came to watch the Olympics, the Office for National Statistics said, equivalent to eight per cent of the typical total in the third quarter.

Overall tourist numbers in the period fell three per cent.

But Games visitors spent an average of £1,510 compared with an average of £720, increasing total tourist spending by eight per cent to £6.4bn.

In November tourist numbers bounced back, rising nine per cent on the year.