London International Visitor Survey

The Olympic Legacy

Monday 12th August 2013

The Olympic Legacy

London visitors think the event had a positive impact on the city and the rest of the UK but one year after the Games there is decreasing recognition of the benefits

On 12th August 2012, the Olympic Stadium was turned into a giant representation of the Union Flag as the Summer Olympics drew to a close. Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee called London’s games “happy and glorious”. Ministers from all departments praised the Games’ long term benefits and said that London’s and Britain’s tourism industry would capitalise on the event for years to come. Over the last year LJ Research has gauged opinion from more than 10,000 visitors to London to help evaluate the London Olympics’ legacy.

LJ Research asked London visitors to what extent they thought the Games would impact on London’s and the UK’s status as an international destination using a 1 to 10 rating scale where 1 was “not at all a positive impact”; 10 was “very positive impact”.

People thought the Games had a moderately high positive impact on London as an average score of 7.75 was achieved between 12th August 2012 and 12th August 2013. The impact on the rest of the country was also rated positively, albeit slightly less pronounced compared to London, as an average score of 7.02 was achieved during the last 12 months.

The chart below illustrates, however, that recognition of the positive impacts of the Games is falling. One month after the Olympics, the average impact score for London was a whopping 8.41 with one out of three visitors considering the Games as having a very positive impact on the status of London as an international destination. However, since then, the score has slipped below the mark of 8.0 and by the latest monthly period (between 13 July 2013 and 12 August 2013), only 17% thought that the Games had a very positive impact.

Similarly, in the first 31 post-Olympic Games days, visitors thought that the rest of the UK would significantly benefit from the Games: an average impact score of 7.42 was achieved. With one out of 5 visitors thinking that the Games had a very positive impact on the rest of the country. Most recently though, the equivalent score between 13 July 2013 and 12 August 2013 was around 7.0 points with only 12% thinking that the Games had a very positive impact on the rest of the UK’s status as an international destination.

To what extent do you think hosting the 2012 Olympics will impact on London and the UK's status as an international destination? [1 = Not at all positive impact; 10 = Very positive impact]

LJ Research also asked London visitors who came prior to the Games (i.e. before 27 July 2012) what they thought the impact of the Games would be on London’s and the UK’s status as an international destination. Across a 6-week period before the Games, the scores for London and the UK (7.74 and 7.04. respectively) were almost identical to the average levels achieved during the 1 year period after the Games (at 7.75 and 7.02). This is an interesting finding and shows that the successful delivery of the Games has helped to retain a high level of confidence that the event will positively impact London and the rest of UK in the future.

LJ Research undertakes an ongoing London Visitor Survey. If you would like to find out more about London visitors and/or their views on the Olympics or if you wish to ask your own question to London explorers, please get in touch with tom@ljresearch.co.uk.