With less than 150 days to go before the Games, the findings reveal that travel volumes into London will significantly increase during the Games-time period. The research also demonstrates the global impact of the Games as other European cities, connected to London via high speed rail, see increased traffic, while long-haul routes experience heightened volumes.
Key findings from the research reveals a huge spike in arrivals (143% increase compared to the same day last year) on July 26, the day before the opening of the Games. When the period of analysis is broadened to include the four days before the event, scheduled future arrivals show an overall increase of 31% when compared to the previous year.
The results also show that US citizens have taken the lead in early bookings with analysis showing a 82% surge in bookings to London as early as August 2011 when compared to the same period last year. Currently, US citizens represent 17% of scheduled arrivals but German travellers are in hot pursuit, representing 11% of scheduled arrivals during the period of analysis. When considered in relative terms, Estonia is recording the largest increase in visitors to London with a 14-fold increase in arrivals during the Games.
In addition, the traditionally successful Olympic nations of Jamaica (four-fold increase) and Brazil (three-fold increase) show the largest relative growth in scheduled arrivals for long-haul travel.
Meanwhile, Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris are all linked to London by high speed rail and all three cities have registered surges in arrivals during the period of the Games. During the three-week period of the Olympics, future scheduled arrivals in Brussels are up 49% compared to 2011; Amsterdam 28%; and Paris 5%. These figures suggest that travellers are increasingly adopting high-speed rail links in conjunction with air travel in order to reach London.
Meanwhile, analysis of scheduled departures from all London airports reveals that Londoners are 11% more likely to stay in the city during the Olympics period than they did in 2011. This finding suggests that contrary to popular opinion, Londoners are not flocking en mass to rent out their homes and to travel abroad. Instead, it seems that the vast majority of Londoners are keen to play an active role in the event.
Holger Taubmann, SVP distribution at Amadeus, said: “Increasingly, companies are relying on hard data to make business decisions. This data provides valuable insights to ensure all players in the travel industry are ready and able to maximise the opportunities come Games-time. For instance, it could help airlines make decisions on the benefits of increasing the capacity and frequency on a given route to meet travellers’ demands, or consider targeting customers with air-rail combined trip offers.”