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COMMENT: We must learn an Olympic-sized tourism lesson
9:00am Monday 10th September 2012 in News
The figures showing a big drop in tourism reveal just how fragile our economic state is.
The data shows visitor numbers are down by 43 per cent this summer.
It will come as no surprise to those traders who rely on tourists for their livlihoods. They will have witnessed the slow summer first hand. But what may surprise us all is the reasons.
Of course the bad weather is partly to blame, with one of the wettest on record keeping visitors at home.
But another factor being cited by those in the know is the Olympics.
Yes, the very Olympics we were told would help boost tourism during a very difficult time for businesses.
Oxfordshire depends heavily on tourism to drive the local economy and we hope it picks up soon.
But tourism organisations should also be asking some searching questions about why the Olympic summer fell flat.
Millions visited the Games in London and Oxford is, perhaps, the most high profile destination within an hour of the capital.
There is no suggestion Oxfordshire missed a trick in attracting people.
But in these straitened times we must learn any lessons we can so we can make the most of future opportunities.