UK tourism chiefs hold emergency talks after London terror attack

By Angus Mcneice in London and Chen Yingqun in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-08 07:31

Britain's tourism and hospitality officials are expressing concern over the effect of recent terror attacks in the United Kingdom, though questions remain as to the size of any potential slump in visitors.

Top representatives convened as the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group on Monday following Saturday's London attack, the third in three months, which killed eight and injured 48. The body of the eighth victim was found on Wednesday, police said.

Xu Xiaolei, a spokesman for China Youth Travel Service, said only a few Chinese clients had canceled or changed plans, but he expects a future reduction. Chinese people made 260,000 visits to the UK in 2016.

"Chinese tourists are mature and rational, and they have trust in the UK's security system, "he said. "However, the UK had witnessed several attacks recently. I think some Chinese tourists are likely to choose other destinations, and the number of Chinese tourists to the UK will be slightly reduced."

The emergency response group is facilitated by UK tourism authority Visit Britain and comprises over 10 members, including the Association of British Travel Agents.

"First and foremost, we extend our thoughts and deepest sympathy to those affected by recent events in London," a Visit Britain spokesperson said. "London is open for business and Britain continues to welcome millions of visitors."

The UK's tourism industry is worth 130 billion pounds ($168 billion) a year, contributing 36 billion pounds a year to London's economy. The sector maintained healthy numbers after the March 22 Westminster Bridge incident and May 22 Manchester bombing attack.

It remains to be seen whether the third attack will result in fewer tourist arrivals. Last year, France saw a 7 percent drop in visitor numbers following multiple terror attacks there.

"There is the immediate impact, and the question is how long that impact is sustained," said Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association.

"We've seen in France, in Paris and Nice, and in other countries where there have been terrorist attacks ... that there is a sustained period. It takes months to be able to recover," Ibrahim said.

Contact the writers at

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349