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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 00:48 GMT 01:48 UK
Cheap travel 'threatens tourism'
The London Eye
Fewer Britons are visiting London, according to a survey
Cheap travel abroad, rather than fears of terrorism, is threatening London's tourist industry, a survey suggests.

Last year visits by foreign tourists to London rose 6.9%, while those by UK residents dropped by 6.3%.

Overall visits are believed to be picking up again after a sharp dip in the aftermath of the July bomb attacks.

But Visit London said low-cost airlines and confusion about what London had to offer were the main "barriers to domestic visits".

"The threat of terrorism was not front of mind for the majority of people," said Visit London boss James Bidwell.

Visit London and Transport for London (TfL) have started their fifth tourism initiative since last July, this time promoting the use of the Oyster travel card to visitors.

Visit London says visits from overseas rose to 14.3 million last year, while UK residents paid just 12 million visits to London.

Mr Bidwell added: "People who live in this country make up nearly half of all visitors to the capital.

"This campaign will keep London top of mind with UK visitors as well as reflecting the breadth and diversity of London's tourism offering."

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