London Eye Owner Sees Visitor Levels Slip After Terror AttacksBy
Merlin Entertainments says it’s cautious on foreign visitation
Shares drop as much as 4.1% in London, leading FTSE 100 falls
Recent terrorist attacks in the U.K. are starting to take a toll on Merlin Entertainments Plc.
The operator of attractions including the London Eye Ferris wheel and Madame Tussaud’s wax museum said Tuesday that atrocities in Manchester and the British capital have led to a deterioration in domestic demand.
Merlin also said it’s “cautious” on trends in overseas tourism over the coming months, given the typical lag between vacation bookings and visitation. The shares fell as much as 4.1 percent in London, the steepest decline in the U.K. FTSE 100 Index.
Any decline in tourism could weigh on spending at Merlin attractions such as the Legoland and Alton Towers theme parks, which have been bolstered by rising visitor numbers as travelers took advantage of the Brexit-weakened pound and shifted from destinations like France in the wake of a series of incidents there.
While trading in the Legoland unit has been in line with expectations, Merlin said a number of its U.K. theme parks have been adversely affected in recent weeks by the terror attacks and subsequent heightened security measures.
Merlin warned of the threat of terrorism earlier this year when it issued a subdued financial outlook. The company also runs attractions in recent targets Berlin, Istanbul and Munich.