Alex Kyriakidis, Global head of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure at Deloitte, says: “While it is too early to predict the full impact on tourism of last Thursday’s terrorism attacks, increasingly, the recovery period post terrorist attacks is getting shorter. London has enjoyed record levels of visitors for the year-to-April 2005, up nearly 10% over the last year. Last Thursday’s attacks will cause a slow-down in that growth, but there should be every confidence in London’s recovery as a world class tourism destination.
“The impact of the attacks will not detract from the planned success of London’s 2012 games. We are likely to see a short-term effect on international visitors. Inbound travel from Europe is unlikely to be affected other than in the very short term, but US inbound tourist numbers may take longer to recover.
“Data from our HotelBenchmark Survey shows that post September 11th, the recovery period was some 18 months. However, in the case of Madrid, hotel occupancies recovered to their pre-attack levels within six months and tourism arrivals to Spain were up 3.4% in 2004 compared with 2003, with a marginal decline in the second quarter of 2004 of only 0.3% as a result of the attacks.
“The effective response from emergency, health and transport services is evidence of London’s ability to cope with unexpected events. This is encouraging for the tourism industry,” adds Kyriakidis.