The Olympic Games in London has brought about an unexpected downturn in business in the central part of the city as visitors have stayed away due to fears of overcrowding.
Businesses in London’s West End hoped for more than 25 million people to visit over the summer due to the surge of people caused by the Olympics.
Around 90 percent of people coming for the games were expected to visit the West End. Experian Footfall, a company that sells systems that measure pedestrian traffic in U.K. shopping centers, said around 10 percent fewer people visited the district, and 7 percent fewer visited the East End last Friday and Saturday than last year, The Independent reported.
“The numbers are currently dramatically down on last year,” Tom Jenkins, CEO of the European Tour Operators Association told the newspaper. “How far down will be determined by how long Transport for London maintains the ‘Don’t come into London’ campaign.”
Some of the visitors to the city, he said, “are not necessarily interested in London as a tourist destination. They are not here to shop, sightsee, or dine out.” He added, “This has occurred in every other Olympics games.”
Simon Wolfson, the CEO of Next Plc., a clothes retailer, said the Olympics’ “effect is definitely negative,” reported Bloomberg.
He also cited the games as the reason shoppers are staying away from central London.
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