Tourists’ perceptions of London, United Kingdom (UK), as a safe host city during the 2012 Olympic Games

Richard George, Kamilla Swart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The Olympic Games 2012 provided the host city London with the opportunity to showcase its cultural diversity and world-class tourist attractions. However, the build-up to the world’s largest sporting event attracted considerable negative publicity primarily related to security at the Games, namely terrorism and its potential to disrupt the spectacle. Intercept interviews were carried out with 354 spectators during the Games at public viewing sites and key tourist attractions to elicit the perceptions of London as a safe host city. The findings demonstrate that visitors to the Olympics perceived London to be safe, in terms of both crime and terrorism, with positive consequences for their future plans to revisit London. Ultimately, a better understanding of spectators’ perceptions of safety and security of the Games can help improve communication messages to combat misperceptions in an effort to increase tourist arrivals to host cities during the staging of mega-events and after such events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1132
JournalJournal of Travel & Tourism Marketing
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • mega-events
  • repeat visiting
  • risk perceptions
  • safety and security
  • sport tourism
  • Olympic games


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