Business World

Sunday 19 November 2017

Eurostar fails to capitalise on Olympics as passenger numbers stagnant

Peter Woodman

THE Olympic effect failed to bring about an increase in the number of passengers travelling on trains run by high-speed Channel Tunnel company Eurostar this summer.

Eurostar carried 2.6 million people in the period July-September 2012 - about equal to the same period last year, it was announced today.

And although numbers rose 4pc during the period of the Olympic Games, there were fewer business and leisure travellers than usual.

Overall, Eurostar sales revenue fell 5pc this summer - going down from £197 million (€250m) in July-September 2011 to £188 million in the same period this year.

For the first nine months of this year, Eurostar passenger numbers have reached 7.4 million - up a little on the 7.3 million figure for January-September 2011. Sales revenue has fallen 1pc to £612 million.

Eurostar, which runs trains between London's St Pancras station and Paris and Brussels, said that since end of the Games it has seen a growth in passenger numbers and sales revenue which signalled "a positive outlook" for the period October to December 2012.

Eurostar was a sponsor of the London Olympics and brought many thousands of Games-related people to the UK capital.

Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said today: "We have had an inspiring and rewarding summer bringing athletes and spectators from around the world to the Olympic Games.

"While many corporate clients and business customers decided to steer clear of London during the Games, we nonetheless delivered a solid performance."

He went on: "Looking ahead to the end of the year, the outlook is strong. Bookings have bounced back and we are now seeing a return to more typical travel patterns.

"With the tremendous boost that London has experienced over the summer we are looking forward to capitalising on the city's post-Olympic glow".

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