The European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) will be polling the inbound tourism industry on Friday, November 5 with a snapshot survey on the expected impact of the Olympics on inbound tourism to the UK and Northern Europe. It will reveal its findings at the World Travel Market (WTM) on Monday, November 8 during the seminar “Sports Tourism: It’s a Tough Game – but Some Win” held in Platinum Suite 4 at 3:00 pm.
In the last month, ETOA has attracted considerable media interest from around the globe in its predictions for Olympic inbound tourism to the UK. Having been interviewed on the subject by several BBC Radio and TV programs, the UK national press and leading news media around the world, ETOA’s executive director, Tom Jenkins is recognized as one of the leading authorities on the subject of Olympic tourism and its potentially detrimental effects on Olympic host cities.
The survey will be conducted at the Global European Marketplace, ETOA’s annual gathering, which is attended by all the leading European inbound tour operators and their suppliers. There, over 200 professional tour-operator buyers will be asked to estimate what impact they expect the Olympics will have on their business for the 2012 season compared with the 2011 season, in London, the wider UK, and elsewhere.
Tom Jenkins will be available for comment, and the results of this survey will be available immediately after the conclusion of the WTM seminar on Monday, November 8.
ETOA has already stated:
• The Olympic Games are not a normal tourism event.
• They are an abnormality that is profoundly disruptive.
• Normal tourist businesses suffer during the Games period: Olympic enthusiasts are not normal tourists. Their presence is determined by their interest in sports.
• They do not come to attend the theatre or sightsee.
• They come to attend a sporting event.
• The region around the Games can suffer more than the host city.
• The host city is often the principal reason for visitors to come to a country, and the principal driving force has been removed.
• Even when the host city is not the principal reason, the impression that everything will be overcrowded and overpriced blights a region.
• These difficulties are routinely exacerbated by exaggerated claims of the benefits that are derived from the games.