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UK tourism industry resilient after militant attacks, bookings data shows
June 21, 2017 / 11:11 PM / a month ago

UK tourism industry resilient after militant attacks, bookings data shows

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Tourists walk past a soldier and an armed police officer on duty on Whitehall in London, Britain, May 26, 2017.Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's tourism industry is proving resilient despite recent militant attacks and is set for higher bookings this year, outperforming the European average, travel data analysis company ForwardKeys said on Thursday.

ForwardKeys, which analyses booking reservations, said that forward bookings for international arrivals were up 12 percent compared to the previous year as of June 17.

The figures were more positive than for the rest of Europe, which averages bookings 7.8 percent higher than this time last year.

British police are on high alert after a man drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four, and then stabbed a policeman to death in the grounds of parliament in March.

Tourists board rowing boats for hire on the River Thames in west London, Britain, June 21, 2017.Toby Melville

That attack was followed by a suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester which killed 22, and a deadly attack on London Bridge this month. ForwardKeys' data was from before an attack on worshippers near a north London mosque on Monday.

ForwardKeys said that there was no wave of cancellations of bookings to Britain following the London Bridge attack.

While an extremely strong start to the year has slowed following each attack, the firm said other factors, such as a blockade on Qatar, could be having an effect, and that Britain's position was still healthy.

"One needs to bear in mind that even though we have seen something of a slowdown in bookings for the UK in recent weeks, the forward booking situation for July and August remains extremely healthy," Olivier Jager, CEO, ForwardKeys, said in a statement.

"There has been a sustained positive trend in bookings for the UK throughout the year so ForwardKeys remains bullish on the UK's tourism performance in summer 2017."

Reporting by Alistair Smout, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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