Olympics Legacy: London Olympics Anniversary

This week, the UK celebrates the first anniversary of the 2012 Olympics – one year on we ask what the Olympics’ legacy has been for the country’s tourism industry.

Despite fears that the UK would experience an “Olympic lag” in 2013, new data from Hotels.com reveals that London – and all other UK cities that hosted an Olympic event last year – is experiencing growth.

International Interest

A key expected benefit to UK tourism was the heightened visibility of the UK as a destination. Data shows that this expectation is being met in the run up to the Olympics Anniversary.

In particular, visitors from Russia, Hungary and New Zealand are most interested in visiting the UK during the first six months of 2013 versus the same period last year.

There have also been significant increases in searches for hotel rooms:

  • London: +81% in searches from Hungry, +76% from German travellers and +53% from Japanese tourists
  • Manchester: +218% from Russia and +58% from New Zealand
  • Cardiff: +94% from Russia, +83% from Hungary, +81% from the Ukraine and +58% from New Zealand
  • Glasgow: +82% from New Zealand, +44% from Hungary and +37% from Russia

Evidently, the UK’s Olympic legacy is robust as we approach the anniversary and is not, as many feared, London centric.

The investments made into tourism infrastructure ahead of the Games have thus-far proved strong, ensuring high-class destination facilities to accommodate growth in tourism across the UK.

“A year in the spotlight helped the UK to achieve one of its best years for tourism in 2012, according to VisitBritain, so it’s great to see that this is continuing,” said Hotels.com’s Alison Couper.

“The Olympic Games showcased a modern and multicultural image of the UK, and visitors now recognise that there is more to Britain than London. This legacy is driving tourists to look beyond the capital. This change could provide a welcome boost to local economies as new jobs are created to meet growing demand from international visitors.”


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