Tourist Numbers Falling

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 117 months ago
Tourist Numbers Falling

St Paul's cathedralBlame the credit crunch, the pusillanimous dollar, or our overly expensive attractions: whatever the reason, tourist numbers dropped by 4% during 2007, after a downturn in the final six months of the year. Worse is expected: visitor levels are expected to drop 2.7% and 1.2% respectively over the next two years. The sharpest fall is in visitors from the States, where a queasy greenback is inclining Americans to visit cheaper shores (like almost anyplace else in the world, for example). Hotels, business venues and, worst of all, the jugglers and caricaturists of Covent Garden, are likely to suffer the most.

Last Updated 04 August 2008


Sorry! I'd love to come visit, really, but it's really the air fare that makes it prohibitively expensive. Maybe by 2009 I'll be able to swing it.


I visit from the States at least once a year because I have good friends in London, but the exchange rate forces me to make painful choices about what I can do while I'm there. If it were only more affordable, I'd see as many sights and explore as many new places as I possibly could.



For the sake of balance, of course, when you look at the data itself:

Total spending from visitors actually rose last year. So there may be fewer visitors but they're spending more than ever before. Hotels, bars and other businesses are reporting record incomes.

And, although US visitors did dip, the numbers of European visitors went up.

And, of course, the future growth of international tourism will not be from the US at all anyway - a very mature market when it comes to international tourism - but from the emerging economies led by China and India, where double-digit economic growth will see a growing middle class that is able to travel internationally for the first time...