NEW YORK -- The London Tourist Office, which before Sept. 11 had
figured the city would lose some $1.5 billion this year from
overseas business lost due to hoof and mouth and global economic
woes, now estimates that the city's tourist trade will lose about
$2.2 billion, a spokesman said.
To stem its losses, the tourist office will focus its short-term
marketing for the next three months primarily on the domestic U.K.
market, the spokesman said, which accounts for 60% of overnight
Overseas visitors to London, about 20% of whom are from the
U.S., are expected to drop between 15% and 25% this year, the
spokesman said, mirroring the drop predicted by the BTA for the
U.K. as a whole.
One reason for the London Tourist Office to be cheerful: the
Queen's 50th anniversary Golden Jubilee celebrations, which begin
in earnest in June.
Annual polls have shown that about 40% of American visitors to
the U.K. come because of London's pageantry, history and royal
connections, the spokesman said.