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UK hoteliers overly optimistic for Olympics

Britain is at risk of losing millions of potential visitors to the UK because of the upcoming Olympic games, according to a tourism body.

The European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) has predicted that the Olympics will put international visitors off the UK, and that 2012 is at risk of being a wash-out in terms of inbound tourism.

Tom Jenkins, executive director of ETOA, said London hoteliers are currently overly optimistic for what 2012 will bring.

“At present an industry stands in jeopardy through over-hyped fantasies of bonanza,” he said.

Jenkins predicted the UK tourism industry would lose out on more than one million clients in 2012, as visitors are put off by the high prices of hotels around the time of the games.

According to the ETOA, some tour operators are dropping the UK completely during 2012.

The ETOA has also predicted that the UK's  "overly complicated" visa regime deters up to half a million visitors a year.

A recent survey conducted by the association showed that 20% of respondents rated the UK visa process as the most problematic.

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