UK Tourism Intact

Despite two recent terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow, many in the industry say they do not expect tourism to the United Kingdom to slow down. "We have not received any calls or cancellations," Bruce Wood, general manager of Continental Airlines Vacations, told Travel Agent. 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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