4m Brits plan holidays to avoid Olympic Games

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Olympic games, United kingdom, Uk

Londoners are split between wanting to stick around for the Olympics, or trying to escape them
Londoners are split between wanting to stick around for the Olympics, or trying to escape them
Just over half of Brits feel that the Olympic Games will have a positive impact on the country’s economy, while almost 4m people will be leaving the country to avoid the 2012 Games, finds a new survey by PwC.

Conducted this month with over 2,000 UK consumers and 500 businesses, the survey aimed to assess attitudes towards the Olympics against PwC’s forecasts for the economic impact of the Games.

The findings reveal that 54 per cent of the UK feel that the Games will have a positive impact on the UK economy. However, Londoners appear slightly less convinced, with only 48 per cent expecting a positive impact on the economy.

Out of the business managers surveyed, 69 per cent believe there will be a positive impact on the UK economy in the short term, with 39 per cent believing that the impact will be positive in the long term.

Mark Ambler, economist at PwC, said: “In April we calculated the commercial benefit of the Royal Wedding as part of an ongoing project to monitor the impact of large events in the capital, and​calculated the commercial benefit to London from visitors’ expenditure to be £107m. This is a good indicator of the potential economic benefits of next year’s Games, when more than ten times this number of visitors is expected.”

Travel plans during the Olympics

Brits are already making plans for their summer holidays next year, with equal numbers of Londoners hoping to escape the Games as those hoping to catch them.

Over 10 per cent of Londoners surveyed said they plan to go on holiday during the Games to avoid them completely. Around 9 per cent plan to bring forward their holidays or delay them until after the Games, and 16 per cent plan to stay in the UK instead of going on holiday specifically because of the Games.

"Our survey results suggest that over ten million adults in the UK are planning to alter their holiday plans next summer as a result of the 2012 Games: nearly 3.9m are planning to stay in the UK specifically because of the Games but a similar number is planning to go on holiday to avoid them, and the remainder are planning to alter the timing of their summer holiday,” said Ambler.

“This confirms the potential significance of the economic impact of the effect of the Games on the UK tourism industry."

Olympics business survey

PwC’s survey of over 500 managers of businesses with more than five employees also revealed mixed feelings about the benefit of the event.

Just over half of those interviewed are optimistic about what the Games will bring to the UK, while a third are not.

“It’s interesting to note that the majority (63 per cent) believe the Games will have little impact on their business, which may mean that managers haven’t fully planned or explored how to take advantage of the Games,” said PwC.

Further figures released today by London 2012 and TfL​ reveal that hospitality businesses have been particularly slow in preparing for the Games.

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