06 August 2012 10:37
The Olympics is proving a boost to retailing and tourism, it was announced today, with footfall up in London's West End, despite fears the Games had turned the capital in a 'ghost town'.
There had been reports of theatres, restaurants and tourist areas of London being affected by people avoiding the capital due to Olympic crowds. Today howevr, London Mayor Boris Johnson welcomed figures showing that the capital's tourism and shopping areas had seen an increase in numbers during the Games.
Retailers across London's Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street said there had been an increase in sales and a higher footfall - the number of people going into a shop - over the past few days. This uplift was reflected in increased footfall across the London areas of Piccadilly, Haymarket, Shaftesbury Avenue and St James's.
Heart of London, the business improvement district representing these areas, said that between Monday and Thursday of last week, footfall was up 11.6% on the previous week and 16.2% up on the same week in 2011.
Mr Johnson said: "This jaw-dropping weekend of outstanding sporting success for Team GB has seen many hundreds of thousands of people travelling to 2012 venues and crowds several deep lining the streets to cheer on Triathlon and Marathon competitors. Now London's transport network is continuing to put in some record-breaking performances of its own as it moves people into and across the city."
He went on: "Not only this, but these indicators show that across London we are helping millions of people head into town to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy all that our fantastic city has to offer during this momentous period."