Eurostar International, a UK-based high-speed rail service that operates between the UK and mainland Europe, and which is also an official supporter of the London 2012 Festival, has reported a slowdown in its business travel as European countries fight an economic slowdown.
In the first six months of 2012, the rail company has reported only a 2 percent increase in passenger traffic, to 4.8 million, from 4.7 million reported in the same period in 2011. Commensurate with the small increment in passenger traffic, the sales revenue has also increased by 1 percent to GBP425 million in the first half of 2012, compared to GBP421 million in the same period last year.
Nicolas Petrovic, the chief executive officer of Eurostar, said, ‘We have delivered a resilient performance in the first half of the year despite the difficult economic climate. Leisure bookings have continued to grow and we have seen good take-up for travel to London over the summer period.
During the Queen’s Jubilee we had one of our busiest weekends on record and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across Europe to enjoy all the attractions that London has to offer for the Games.
Whilst leisure sales have held up over the last six months, there is no doubt that corporate clients and business travellers, particularly in the financial services industry, are feeling the squeeze and are cutting back on their travel budgets as they adapt to the economic environment.
The combination of economic pressures and the London 2012 Games has meant that we are seeing different travel patterns this year. The traditional European summer close-down for business is kicking in earlier as all eyes turn to the Olympic celebrations in London.’