London is especially lovely in the summer months, so it comes as no surprise that visitors would want to come and bask in the capital’s loveliness while the sun is [usually] shining and the weather is [generally] mild. But this summer might be a bit different; according to Visit London, overseas tourism is expected to grow a mere 0.3%, the lowest since 2002. The main factor to blame is the credit crunch; while previously North American tourists have been undaunted by a 2:1 exchange rate, the slowing economy has made travellers a bit more conservative with their dollars. And apparently that’s being optimistic: There’s a very real chance that there will be a decline in overseas visitors. It has already been projected that the number of domestic visitors will fall by 3.4%.
While deep down (or maybe right there on the surface) this will make many Londoners grin about the thought of eased pedestrian traffic or a decrease in inane comments on the tube, fewer tourists will actually hurt the city’s economic situation at a time when we’re feeling the credit crunch as well. Last year, tourists brought £8.7 billion with them to London; while sharing our home with outsiders can provide the occasional annoyance, it would be hard to deny that they contribute to London in their own way.
Image courtesy of internets_dairy's Flickrstream.