Plan on Visiting London? Or Birmingham? Or…

By | Category: Travel rumblings

This week we have seen riots, civil disobedience, vandalism – call it what you will. Concern has been raised on how this might affect visitors coming to the UK. But what about the effect of us visiting other places in the UK that have been in the news this week?

One mother expressed concern about her daughter coming to London next week as through the trouble engulfed the whole of the capital. But that’s a normal reaction. If you live far away from a destination, the fact that trouble is mentioned in the news makes you automatically think the whole place is involved. So London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds have hit the headlines. Warrington and Northwich have also seen some vandalism but haven’t made the headlines. People might not be deterred from going there because they haven’t heard about it. Tourism officials must be bemoaning this cruel fate especially as this is peak time for visitors.
France 24, the 24 hour new service, had on its daily e-mail the headline, “Police out in force as riots spread across Britain.” That sounds as though the riots were everywhere. Even the Prime Minister came out with talk of restoring order to Britain’s streets which suggested the same thing. What twaddle. And unhelpful and dispiriting twaddle at that!

Take Hackney for example. In the early days of the trouble, this area in the east end of London was at the forefront. It just happened to coincide with CD-Traveller commissioning a story on what you can do on a day there. From a person living just two streets away from the events, we learnt it was contained to a small area. That’s not how the media portrayed it. But all of Hackney is now tarred. We will go ahead and publish this as too few people know of the tourism appeal of what’s there. (See www.hackneyhomemade.com for example)

Will you be put off from seeing some of the cities that have had trouble this week because of the news coverage?

It has been difficult to gauge the impact so far on whether we will rein in visits to our cities. ETOA (European Tour Operators Association) came out with a rushed press release showing that hotels had received only 330 cancellations representing less than 0.2% of bookings. But that will include overseas as well as visitors from within the UK. What we as domestic visitors do will not be known for a little while yet.

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