Business slumps at London Eye and Madame Tussauds in wake of terror attacks

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Business has dipped at London tourist hotspots such as the London Eye and Madame Tussauds after a spate of terror attacks hit visitor numbers.

Merlin Entertainments, which runs the two landmark attractions, said attacks on Westminster, Borough Market and Manchester Arena “immediately and significantly reduced domestic demand” at its Midway division, which includes London Dungeons and Legoland.

Its interim results report noted “a more subdued market” and said the firm “remains cautious” about international visitor numbers as there is a lag between bookings and trips.

The spate of knife, van and bomb attacks, which killed 35 people in total, contributed to holding Merlin’s pre-tax profit down in the six months to July 1, which came in flat at £50 million.


Borough Market reopened on June 15 after its closure in the wake of the terror attack, attracting Prince Harry as a punter (John Stillwell/PA )

At Midway, operating profit fell almost 17 per cent to £57 million in the period.

The terror atrocities came after a bright patch for Merlin, which said in March that profits were being boosted by the collapse in the value of the pound following the Brexit vote, which has resulted in a tourism surge.

Nevertheless, total revenue rose 9.6 per cent to £685 million on a constant currency basis, and was up 3.7 per cent like-for-like.

Visitors to Merlin’s attractions grew 6.2 per cent to 29.7 million.

Boss Nick Varney said the firm “remains on track to meet our 2020 milestone targets”.

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