October 11, 2012 - 16:22 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The number of visitors to the UK fell in August, despite the Olympics, but the amount they spent rose, according to BBC News.
Overseas residents made three million visits to the UK in the month, down 5% from August 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
But the amount spent by visitors, which includes their spending on Olympic tickets, was up 9% on August 2011.
The Olympic Games ran from July 27 to August 12 while the Paralympics began on August 29.
The ONS estimated that 590,000 people in July and August normally resident outside the UK had visited and attended at least one ticketed Olympic or Paralympic event, of whom 420,000 visited primarily for the games.
Some in the travel industry claim potential visitors decided not to visit the UK during the Games due to fears of overcrowding.
The ONS stressed that there may have been other reasons for the fall in visitor numbers. "[Wet weather] is a very important factor to consider alongside the Olympics and other things like exchange rates, which may have an impact on visits," Roger Smith from the ONS said.
Between June and August the number of visits was down 7% compared with 2011, but for the year to the end of August the UK had the same number of total visitors as last year.
UK residents made 7.3 million trips abroad in August, which was down 1% from the same month last year.
Of the 420,000 people whose main reason for visiting was the Olympics, 260,000 were residents of European countries with 80,000 coming from North America.