London tourism plunges on terrorism fears

Terrorism fears caused visitor numbers to drop in London last year

Visitor numbers to London's tourist attractions fell last year

Monday, March 27, 2017

The number of visitors to London's most popular tourist attractions fell sharply last year due to fears of a terrorist attack.

In 2016 one million fewer people visited the Natural History Museum, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum compared with 2015, according to the Evening Standard.

Across the UK, however, the average growth was 7.2%, while there was 15.6% growth in Scotland.

Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, said: "There were some security fears about central London and city centre attractions, both on the part of overseas visitors and also UK domestic families.

"Whilst there were some terrorism attacks on mainland continental Europe, there was also some concern among overseas visitors that London might be next."

Southern Rail strikes also contributed to the fall in visitors, it is believed, as research shows those who live in the south of the country were worried they wouldn't be able to get home after visiting an attraction.

But Donoghue also claimed that he doesn't expect a further fall in numbers due to last week's terror attack in Westminster.

He said: "We've always been well regarded as being a safe destination and one that's always dealt well with security and terrorism concerns.

"All of our historical research indicates that if there's a one-off terrorist incident the market doesn't react at all, it's quite a muted reaction."