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UK Tourism Intact

July 9, 2007 By: Jennifer Merritt Travel Agent

Despite two recent terrorist attacks in London
and Glasgow, many in the industry say they do
not expect tourism to the United
to slow down. "We have not
received any calls or cancellations," Bruce Wood, general manager of
Continental Airlines Vacations, told Travel
. In fact, Wood said, the company expects to continue to see growth in
the region. "Year over year, we've seen substantial increases of well
above 25 percent," he said. "We're really confident and don't expect
a downtrend."

Flights resumed at Glasgow
and its neighboring airports on July 1, one day after a man drove a SUV into
the main terminal there, setting fire to the vehicle and the front of the
terminal at Scotland's
busiest airport. All of Britain's
airports operated as usual, albeit under heightened security.

The incident came a day after two cars loaded with
explosives and nails were discovered near Piccadilly Circus in London. On June 30, the chief executive of
Visit London, James Bidwell, issued a statement urging people not to cancel or
alter vacation plans. "Even following the [underground bombings] of July
2005, overseas visitor numbers recovered within months and there followed a
record in 2006, with overseas visits up 9.4 percent," he said. Bidwell
added that experience shows visitors are "increasingly resistant to
letting such incidents prevent them from going about their daily lives."

Citigroup aviation analyst Andrew Light echoed that
sentiment, stating in a report that even with successful past terrorist
attacks, there usually is a limited impact on the number of people taking to
the skies. Business travelers are unlikely to be deterred and given that most
leisure tickets are non-refundable, carriers' revenue should be relatively
resilient even if travelers cancel their plans. On July 2, three days after the
Glasgow attack,
only nine flights at the airport had been canceled, although a number of
flights were delayed. —Jennifer Merritt

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