Travel Agents To Clients Re London: 'Channel Winston Churchill, Keep Calm And Carry On'

by Maria Lisella
Travel Agents To Clients Re London: 'Channel Winston Churchill, Keep Calm And Carry On'

Photo: Diliff


In spite of the Westminster attack this week, well-traveled clients are not inclined to stay home or even change their travel. Instead they are citing the words used in a motivational poster to raise the morale of the British public during World War II.

On the cusp of high season, the death toll in London reached five, and police were raiding a Birmingham property ostensibly linked to the attack on Westminster Bridge. But agents say London and Paris, which also has been hit with violent incidents, are among the most resilient of cities. And so too are American travelers.

London is the top destination for the historically-themed tours of Florida-based Kristine Hughes Patrone, owner of Number One London Tours. “My clients see this incident in context – this is neither the first nor the last time a lone wolf act of terrorism is likely to take place – but it is not changing their travel plans,” she said.

Jack Bloch of JB’s World Travel Consultants in New York said, “Savvy travelers know to be aware of their surroundings at all times no matter where they go, and are not cancelling their plans because people are trying to disrupt the world of travel.”

London still has 25 flights a day from the United States, and prices are stable.

Westminster Bridge is a top tourist destination over the River Thames, with nearby must-see sights such as the London Eye, Parliament Square, the Houses of Parliament and of Lords, Big Ben, Whitehall, the Jewel Tower, and St. Margaret’s Church, the Sea Life London Aquarium, and the Horse Guards Parade are all within a five-minute walk of the sight of the attack. Trafalgar Square is a mere nine-minute stroll from the sight.

Bloch reported hotels have been amiable about cancellation fees and he won’t be telling people to stay home: “Everything is safe and unsafe – from terrorist attacks to earthquakes,” he offered.

The London Marriott County Hall Hotel, in the immediate vicinity of Westminster Bridge, is waiving cancellation fees for guests holding existing reservations until March 27.

Donna Olivia, public relations manager for Marriott Europe, said, “Given the ongoing situation, we are sensitive to the potential impact on our guests.  As such, The London Marriott County Hall Hotel has been assisting the police and emergency services with their operation. At this time, all of our guests and employees have been accounted for and the hotel is operating with heightened security.”

Sarah Ahmed, director of sales and marketing at Royal Lancaster London, said: “As yet and so far we have seen no impact on visitors or our booking levels. As a central London hotel we are remaining extra vigilant at all times.”

For Americans, London is a perennial favorite. In 2016 the United Kingdom received a record 37.3 million inbound visits, up 3% over 2015 with visitors spending £22.2 billion, matching 2015’s record spend.

Additionally, inbound visits to friends and relatives saw strong growth throughout 2016 with a record-breaking 11.5 million visits, up 10% on 2015. The figures show strong growth in 2016 from North America, Canada and the U.S., with 4.3 million for an increase of 7% over 2015.

Comparing growth during the last six years shows there were 7.5 million more visits in 2016 than 2010, an increase of 25%.

A VisitBritain spokesperson said: "As the Prime Minister has made clear, London is open for business and Britain continues to offer a warm welcome to the millions of visitors from around the globe who come to enjoy the world-class attractions our capital city, nations and regions have to offer."

Tourism is worth £127 or $159 billion annually to the U.K. economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and regions.

Says Hughes Patrone, “Two days ago I rented a flat on Kings Road for June, and I have no plans to cancel or change my reservation. No one is going to keep me from enjoying my favorite city in the world.”

  1
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Best Things to Do in Sheffield, UK

1. Holly Hagg

2. Will4Adventure

3. Crucible Theatre

4. Rivelin Valley Nature Reserve

Source: TripAdvisor

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=790331bd-ff88-e811-853f-782bcb667b27

Artificial Intelligence is the Future the Jetsons Told Us About

Customer loyalty is the ultimate reward for travel agents who tap into artificial intelligence. While still early in its application to travel, many companies are quickly realizing the need to implement AI to improve their travel customer service and trip planning.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
EU Says Airbnb Not in Compliance with Consumer Regulations
EU Says Airbnb Not in Compliance with Consumer Regulations

Airbnb has until the end of August to propose changes to make its terms and conditions fairer and easier to understand.

Once Again, Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende Tops Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best List
Once Again, Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende Tops Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best List

Several perennial favorites made the list, but Mexico notably took three of the top 15 spots for the world's best cities.

Perillo Tours to Launch 360 Video Travel Agent Campaign
Perillo Tours to Launch 360 Video Travel Agent Campaign

Virtual reality is gearing up to create vast changes in our culture and entertainment, including the way travel agents sell and the way consumers research travel.

Intrepid Travel to Launch New Backpacking Alternative Tour Brand
Intrepid Travel to Launch New Backpacking Alternative Tour Brand

Tour operator’s sister company, Geckos Adventures, has been absorbed in a strategic move to offer 'stress-free' and a sustainable, affordable alternative to backpacking.

Walt Disney World Holiday Offerings Travel Agents Should Know About
Walt Disney World Holiday Offerings Travel Agents Should Know About

Beginning Nov. 8, visitors will be able to celebrate with festive parties, special holiday décor and treats, and various entertainment.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan Is the Top Hotel in the World
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan Is the Top Hotel in the World

The resort was named by Travel + Leisure as one of the properties to keep in mind when making recommendations to sophisticated, world travelers.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line