LondonNet News Headlines
13/05/03
Tourism Unaffected by Mayor's Comments
- Livingstone v. Bush seen as a storm in a teacup by travellers

LONDON'S tourist industry has shrugged of the spat between mayor Ken Livingstone and US President George Bush, with signs that visitor numbers from America have risen in recent weeks.

Livingstone caused fingers to wag in his direction on Thursday when he made some trenchant criticisms of Bush. The mayor called the US President a "coward", for supporting the Vietnam war while avoiding active service, "corrupt", presumably for the influence big oil corporations are said to hold over the US administration, and "illegitimate" for the dubious circumstances of his election.

The response from Washington was icy, with presidential spokesperson Ari Fleischer saying he had never heard of Livingstone and that, in any case, he refused to dignify the mayor's comments with a reply.

The row caused some to worry that Americans would be put off from travelling to London. However, tourist numbers are up over the last month, particularly from the US. LondonNet itself can report that the proportion of bookings made by Americans are at there highest level since 9/11/01.




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