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Research into Travel Trends During London 2012 Olympic Games

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Amadeus and market research and consulting company, Forward Data SL, have unveiled a range of travel data trends, based on actual global air reservations, which details the impact of the London 2012 Olympics.

With approximately 50 days to go before the games, the findings provide a country-by-country view of where visitors to London during the Olympics period are coming from. The data shows that booking figures for the Olympics period, made by 12 May 2012, are 13% higher than in 2011.

Key trends from the research include:

Europe and North America driving traffic to London, but Asia takes gold for biggest growth

Europe and North America are the source regions with the greatest proportion of arrivals to London during the period of the games, accounting for 46% and 23% of total expected arrivals respectively. However as the third biggest market, Asia, which is the source region for 9% of arrivals, has seen the most significant increase in bookings compared to 2011, experiencing a 27% increase. This growth and dominance of inbound traffic from Asian nations during the Olympic period is thanks primarily to Japan and Indias growing flows to London.

Top source countries include USA and Germany, with arrivals from BRICS increasing by 40%

The USA is the single biggest source nation for traffic to the Olympics, accounting for 19% of total expected arrivals a 12% increase on 2011. Germany is the second largest source market, responsible for 8% of total expected arrivals. Interestingly, BRICS nations (Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa) are emerging as important source nations for long-haul travel to London during the Olympics period: BRICS countries are seeing a 40% increase in bookings compared with 2011, representing a 9% share of total arrivals.

New York is most popular source city for travel to London in the US

The 12% increase in expected traffic from the USA to London during the Olympics period is being fuelled by traffic from the nations largest cities: New York City, in particular, is seeing a dramatic 48% increase in bookings to London for this period compared with 2011. San Francisco is also seeing a remarkable growth, up 29% from 2011, with Chicago and Washington also registering increases of 13% and 18% respectively. Remarkably, one large US source city Los Angeles is seeing a decrease in traffic to London over the period 23rd July to 12th August, at -3% compared to 2011.

Londons aggregated traveller index up 7%

From the Opening Ceremony onwards, throughout the duration of the Olympic Games, London will experience a high level of occupancy (i.e. number of visitors staying in London), with numbers 7% higher than last year for the period between the Opening and Closing ceremonies. The greatest increase in occupancy compared with 2011 is between 4 and 8 August.

Londoners defer outbound trips until post-Olympics period

It seems that Londoners intend to remain in the city and enjoy the spectacle during the Olympics period: departures to any destination from London for the period before the Opening Ceremony are 5% below 2011 levels. Across the whole summer (from 2 July until 2 September) 2% fewer Londoners will leave the city than in 2011. However, it seems that Londoners arent forgoing a holiday altogether, simply deferring it, as three weeks after the Closing Ceremony, departures will increase to 10% more than in the same period in 2011.

Holger Taubmann, SVP Distribution at Amadeus, said, This data highlights the significant opportunity for travel providers and businesses in London over the Olympics period, particularly during the dates when occupancy will surge compared with last year, that is, between 4 and 8 August. Businesses, especially those within the leisure and retail sectors, will have big opportunities by catering to the needs of travellers from all over the world this summer. The data also indicates another period that will be of crucial importance to UK-based travel sellers: the weeks after the Closing Ceremony, when many Londoners will depart from the city.

Olivier Jager, CEO of Forward Data, added, Market intelligence like this is essential to travel sellers and travel providers as they assess not only how and when travelers make their decisions, but also the probable impact of major events on their businesses, and allows them to capitalise on the opportunity such an event offers. This data represents actual bookings made, so travel providers can base their business decisions upon it with confidence.

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