London's hotels will suffer more than any others in Europe from the after-effects of the terrorist attacks on the USA, according to a leading consultant's report, published last week.
Arthur de Haast, managing director for Europe at Jones Lang LaSalle hotels, said European markets with the highest reliance on US guests were likely to be hit the hardest.
"We have to assume that in the short term the London market has the potential to suffer the most, not only due to its high level of US demand, but also in its role as a gateway to Continental Europe for many US leisure travellers," he said.
The report said that convention cities were also likely to suffer in the short term as large-scale meetings and non-essential travel were cut.
"US outbound travel is certainly likely to be significantly down in the fourth quarter of 2001 and perhaps 2002," de Haast said, "which puts European leisure destinations popular with the US market at risk, particularly the top-end hotels."
But while international and long-haul travel is likely to be severely affected, domestic tourism may increase as more people stay at home.
Jones Lang LaSalle predicts that Continental Europe's hotel markets stand a better chance of avoiding a prolonged downturn because of the higher proportion of domestic demand and ease of travel between markets.
During the Gulf War, Continental European markets were able to stave off the fall in US demand and decline in global travel. The high dependence on domestic and intra-regional demand served to lessen and delay the effect.
by Samantha McClary