London is set to suffer a 95% leisure tourism slump during the 2012 Olympic Games, according to a new research. In a survey conducted amongst its members, the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) discovered that a major slump in leisure tourism bookings is underway. At the end of October, ETOA canvassed 38 operators, who move more than two million people annually to London. They revealed that they were expecting a significant downturn throughout 2012. It said that the downturn looks like being extremely severe in July and August, where operators are currently seeing a 60% shortfall in bookings, becoming acute during the period of the Olympics where bookings are running at 95% below where they would normally be. Bookings for the rest of the year are running at 20% below this time last year. Tom Jenkins, executive director of ETOA said: “This is still very early in the booking cycle and only reflects what our normal leisure customers are doing. We always see a decline in demand for a destination during an Olympic year. "Clients tend to think that a city has priorities other than being a place to visit for a normal holiday, so some of this was to be expected. But this tendency is becoming absolute as the hotel rates climb in July and August. During the Olympic period itself there is almost no demand from regular tourists. For foreign visitors there is near total displacement by the Games.”

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