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London Olympic-Period Travel Seen Rising on U.S. Visitors

Travel to London will jump 31 percent during the summer Olympic Games, propelled by visitors from the U.S., Germany, Jamaica and Brazil, according to two Spanish industry-research companies.

Passenger arrivals on July 26, the day before the event’s opening ceremony, will be more than double the figure for the same date in 2011, Amadeus IT Holding SA and Forward Data SL said in a joint report released today. Americans will account for 17 percent of London’s airline arrivals from July 23 to Aug. 12, with Germans accounting for 11 percent, they said.

The London Olympics will attract more than 320,000 foreign visitors, national tourism agency VisitBritain has said, citing a study conducted by Oxford Economics. Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris are also seeing an increase in travel during the Olympics period, Madrid-based Amadeus and Barcelona-based Forward Data said in today’s report. Arrivals in London will quadruple from Jamaica and triple from Brazil, they said.

Londoners are 11 percent more likely to stay in the capital city during the Olympics, Amadeus and Forward Data said. Even so, Ryanair Holdings Plc said Feb. 28 that bookings for the two weeks from July 27 through Aug. 12 are 28 percent higher than a year earlier, as “Londoners are not allowing the Olympic Games to disrupt their summer holidays.” Willie Walsh, chief executive officer of British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, said yesterday that the Olympics’ travel effect on the U.K. carrier will be “neutral.”

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