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London 2012 attracted 680,000 overseas visitors

Olympics and Paralympics boost visitors’ spending over comparable period

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In July, August and September, the period of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, 680,000 overseas residents visited the UK either for the purpose of watching, participating in or working at the London 2012 Games, or attended a ticketed London 2012 event while visiting the UK primarily for a different purpose.

In a data release on Thursday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were 90,000 games related visits in September, which is in addition to an earlier announcement in October that 590,000 overseas residents completed visits to the UK in July and August in relation to London 2012 Games.

The figure for July and August excluded a large period of the Paralympic Games, which concluded on 9 September, and any visitors that did not complete their visit to the UK until September, as data is only recorded when an overseas resident leaves the UK.

In September, overseas residents completed 2.6 million visits to the UK, 1 percent higher on an annualised basis for the month. For the three months (July to September), there was 4 percent decline in visits to the UK by overseas residents than in the same period in 2011.

However, associated spending on these visits was 6 percent higher than the previous year, with a total figure of over £6 billion, the ONS said.

The total number of overseas residents’ visits for 2012 (year to date) is comparable to 2011, at 23.5 million visits. Spending was again higher, having received 5 percent growth and a total figure of over £14 billion for the year to date.


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